Currently in the early stages of development, the second-generation A45 is scheduled to go on sale in early 2019. It will be the flagship model for an extended range of A-Class models that will include a new plug-in petrol-electric hybrid.
Changes to the A45’s body structure mean that it will be marginally longer than today’s version and adopt a higher percentage of aluminium in a bid to retain a similar kerb weight. It will also feature an updated version of AMG’s M133-designated turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and the multi-plate four-wheel drive system used in today’s model.
The reworked 2.0-litre four-pot engine will be given a series of changes that include revised fuel injectors, an altered turbocharger and subtle revisions to the combustion process. These tweaks are said to enable the engine to kick out up to 200bhp per litre — a figure that hints at more than a 20bhp increase in reserves at over 400bhp.
This compares with 375bhp for the existing A45, which gained a 20bhp increase over the original model earlier this year. It is also significantly more than the 362bhp of the turbocharged 2.5-litre fivecylinder RS3 and 365bhp of the turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder M2. Accompanying the more powerful engine will be an AMG version of Mercedes’ upcoming nine-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which will be introduced on less powerful versions of the A-Class in late 2018.
With a new software map and unique ratios, along with tweaks to the four-wheel drive system and electric differential, a 0-62mph time of less than 4.0sec is regarded as a key engineering goal for the new A45.
The A45 won’t be the only AMG-engineered model in the new A-Class line-up, though.
Secrecy surrounds the new lower-rung AMG model, but insiders at the performance division’s Affalterbach headquarters suggest it will closely challenge the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
It is understood to forgo the updated M133 engine used by the next A45 for a powered-up version of Mercedes’ standard turbocharged 2.0-litre M270 engine, developing around 275bhp.