Despite rumours to the contrary, the model will be pure petrol and will not require a hybrid set-up to produce its headline-grabbing numbers. "It's going to be the next step in every perspective, including driving dynamics," said Moers, who also confirmed that a softer AMG model, the A35, "will arrive ahead of the A45".
That car will use a lower-powered version of the 2.0-litre, likely outputting 300bhp to rank it directly alongside the Volkswagen Golf R.
The A45's big power advantage will be illustrated with only small aesthetic differences. It will have a quad oval-exit exhaust system, whereas the A35 will get a dual-exit system.
Also featured on the A45 is AMG' Panamericana front grille, giving the 2019 car a design nod to the recently revealed GT 4-door Coupé.
The A45 will have its own unique chassis developments with optional adjustable damping offering an extreme mode for high-speed circuit running.
The current A45 is renowned for its stiff adjustable set-up, but the recently sighted test cars for the next-gen model look to be sitting lower, suggesting AMG could be targeting even more body composure for track-day driving in its future model.
The new A-Class is 10mm longer than today’s car and adopts a new floorpan and body structure that are claimed to provide significant increases in rigidity. This provides it with improved refinement.
The new A45 will also get a significantly wider front track and receive its own unique wheel carriers in a bid to reduce unsprung mass. It will roll on standard 18in wheels, but 19in rims will be an option.
The 376bhp original A45 is capable of 0-62mph in 4.2sec, but AMG is planning to ramp up straight-line performance further still. The basis for the changes to the M133 unit comes from Mercedes’ new M260 four-cylinder engine. This is derived from the older M270 motor used by today’s A-Class but has a new crankcase and cylinder head.
Initially, the reworked M133 will feature a traditional exhaust gas-driven twin-scroll turbocharger. However, AMG is also developing a more advanced variant of its new engine that uses a 48V electrical system and runs both an electric-driven turbocharger and electric motor in a hybrid set-up that promises an even greater ramp-up in performance.
AMG is also looking to endow its new hatchback model with an extra 20lb ft — a move that, insiders have told Autocar, will provide it with at least 369lb ft and allow its 0-62mph sprint to crack the 4.0sec mark.