Mid-life revisions for Mercedes-AMG's A45 performance hatchback could boost its total power output to 375bhp – enough to topple Audi's latest RS3

These are the first spy pictures of the facelifted Mercedes-AMG A45, which is due to go on sale in the UK this autumn.

The hot hatchback, which will now be badged under the Mercedes-AMG performance brand alongside staples such as the C63 and the new GT, has been spotted testing in southern Europe. 

As part of the model's mid-life revisions, Mercedes is likely to increase the power output from the A45's turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine to beyond the 355bhp of the current car. Mercedes will be looking to eclipse the 362bhp offered by the new Audi RS3's 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged motor. 

Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers has already revealed to Autocar that the updated A45 will be "the most powerful again" when it goes on sale. Sources have suggested that the power upgrade could mean the A45 comes with as much as 375bhp, which will be enough to take at least 0.1sec off its 0-62mph time, bringing it down to 4.5sec. It's likely the car's top speed will remain limited to 155mph.

AMG insiders told Autocar: "We’re not going to simply rest on our laurels. We already have certain developments in store for the M133 [the internal codename for the A45’s engine] that will see us retain a competitive edge if and when our rivals do catch up.”

Mercedes is also thought to be taking the opportunity of the A45 AMG refresh to offer greater visual differentiation between the full-house AMG model and lesser A-Classes that can currently be specced to look very similar to the A45. A new and distinctive grille is among the items that will be used by the A45 and not made available to any cheaper A-Class model.

The German firm could also follow the example set by the GT and C63 by offering two versions of the A45, with a more potent 'S' model following on from the standard car.

Even without its power upgrade, the Mercedes-AMG A45 already offers more power than some rivals, including the new Ford Focus RS, which gets 316bhp from its 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine - although that model does have the benefit of all-wheel drive.

Mercedes' return to the top of the hot hatch power tables could be short-lived, however, now that Volkswagen has confirmed that it is preparing to put the 395bhp Golf R400 into production. Although no launch date has yet been set for the R400, which is based on the Golf R, VW technical chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser recently confirmed that the project was in development.

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12 May 2015
I guess having the most powerful car in its class matters a lot to some people. It must be quite tiring, though, when your new motor's bhp figures are bettered by a new rival, so you have to sell and buy that model, and so it goes on....

12 May 2015
catnip wrote:

I guess having the most powerful car in its class matters a lot to some people. It must be quite tiring, though, when your new motor's bhp figures are bettered by a new rival, so you have to sell and buy that model, and so it goes on....

These aren't cheap thrills now-a-days, not even close. At this price range the overall ownership experience has to be pretty much spot on to justify the costs involved. It's not so easy to overlook any shortcomings with either the car or the service just because there's big power on offer when you've paid top whack for it. I'm sure that most existing owners would rather hear that the driving experience had been turned up good few notches as oppose to any gains in BHP

13 May 2015
Just when you thought the power race amongst the German marques had subsided during the past few years following the one-upmanship battles in the M3 and M5 classes. How long before we see the 450-500 bhp A Class, A3, 1 Series or Golf?

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