Currently reading: Hot A-class is integral to AMG's growth plans
Mercedes-Benz's performance arm, AMG, is aiming to grow its sales from 20,000 to 30,000 over the next five years

Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance arm AMG says the new hot A-class it is producing is integral to its target of increasing sales by 50 per cent over the next five years.

AMG currently sells about 20,000 global units, but wants to build that figure to 30,000 by the time of its 50th anniversary in 2017.

The new 330bhp, four-wheel-drive flagship A-class, the A45 AMG, is seen as key to this plan. It is the first of an anticipated three compact AMG offerings that will be derived from Merc’s A-class and B-class models.

In total there will be eight or nine new offerings across the AMG range as part of a model strategy called AMG Performance 50.

At the moment the C-class AMG models account for about 20-25 per cent of AMG’s total sales, but the company expects the A45 mega-hatch and other two small cars to eventually be responsible for about 20 per cent.

The A45 AMG will go head-to-head with Audi’s RS3 and BMW’s M135i.

AMG officials claim that in dry-weather testing around the Nürburgring Nordschleife the A45 outperformed the RS3 and was equal to the M135i. When it rained, however, the new Merc’s four-wheel drive system made it superior to both.

Exact performance figures have not been issued for the A45 AMG, but expect between 325-330bhp and maximum torque above 295lb ft. Although peak torque will arrive at roughly 4300rpm, about 90 per cent will be available from 1500rpm.

The A45 AMG will get a new design of Recaro bucket front seat that will eventually be rolled across the AMG product line. A redesigned double-blade front grille will also feature, and set the styling tone for future cars.

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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toptidy 14 June 2012

AMG A class

Well if that is their target I wish them luck - I wouldn't contemplate buying one of these blinged-up Max Power looking turbo'd 4-pot engined C-Max/Golf Plus/Seat Altea looking "Mercs" supposedly aimed at younger customers, but which will only ever appeal to pensioners!

Please, please, please let us have something in the AMG range with RWD and a manual gearbox - a successor to the 190E Cosworth.


zetapiscium 14 June 2012

@toptidy: that's exactly what

@toptidy: that's exactly what I was thinking. The power race and the Nurburgring times are taking something away from the driving pleasure.


4D.Dr1ver 13 June 2012

Pardon me if I'm wrong

But shouldn't the standard car go on sale before  the AMG version is rolled out?