It’s the first time Mercedes has slapped its prime AMG badge onto an A, but with its latest A-Class representing such a step-change over its predecessor, this change certainly is welcome.
The A 45 AMG is endowed with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with outputs of 265kW at 6000rpm and 450Nm from 2250 and 5000rpm. It’s claimed to be the most powerful series production four-cylinder in the world while also apparently consuming just 6.9 litres/100km. It produces CO2 emissions of between 161 and 165g/km.
Tobias Moers, head of Overall Vehicle Development at Mercedes, said: ‘With the new A 45 AMG we have well and truly achieved our aim of developing the most dynamic, powerful and efficient four-cylinder series production car. With its impressive high-tech package and the performance-oriented AMG 4Matic all-wheel drive, the A 45 AMG is a thoroughbred AMG through and through.’
Emphasising that point, Merc says this car, which has its top speed limited to 250kph, will cover the 0 – 100kph acceleration run in 4.6 seconds.
The A 45 AMG’s engine is boosted with a twin-scroll turbo with a maximum pressure of 1.8 bar. Similar to its eight- and twelve-cylinder mates, the new four-cylinder is hand-built – albeit at an engine plant in Kölleda, Germany.
The engine is mated to an seven-speed dual clutch transmission – Merc calls it AMG Speedshift DCT – with three driving programmes (manual, ‘controlled efficiency’ and sport), a double declutching function and launch control.
As for the safety features, one worth noting is the three-stage ESP system with Curve Dynamic assist. The three modes are on, sport handling and off, although all the ESP functions are apparently restored once the driver jumps on the brakes in the latter two.
Typically Merc, parts are lifted from a number of AMG products, including the SLK 55 AMG (sports exhaust system) and the SLS AMG (cooling system) to further refine the car.
As expected, AMG hallmarks such as a specially tuned sports suspension, sports steering and high-performance braking system are also standard.
Inside the cabin, red contrasting trim highlights the AMG drive unit, instrument cluster and race timer.
Options include an AMG aerodynamics pack, carbon fibre pack, performance seats, night package with darker trim, and performance exhaust, steering and suspension systems.
An Edition 1 version showing the brand’s motorsport connection will also be released.
The A-Class range is expected to be launched in South Africa in April. The A 45 AMG, after its first outing at the 2013 Geneva motor show, should follow in July.
Local Pricing of the A-Class:
A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY R275 000
A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY R298 000
A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Auto R310 000
A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY manual R300 000
A 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY R355 000
A 250 Sport R395 000