The beginning of a new era. The new Mercedes A 45 AMG opens a new page in the history of both Mercedes and AMG brands: 360 horsepower generated by a turbocharged 2.0-liter unit means that the new top-of-the range A-Class model is powered by the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever produced. More precisely, this engine is capable of producing 360 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 450 Nm between 2,250 and 5,000 rpm, and is mated to the well-known AMG 4Matic all-wheel drive system and a 7-speed AMG Speedshift dual clutch transmission.
Basically, the A 45 AMG represents the first attempt of the Mercedes-AMG combo to enter a previously unexplored segment of the market that can be considered way less exclusive than what the AMG label has been associated with until now. As for the performance figures, the model will burn the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time in the 4.6 seconds, reaching an electronically limited top speed of about 250 km/h (155 mph).
The basis for these impressive figures is provided by the high-tech package which has been put together by Mercedes-AMG: the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection via piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers. Other highlights include the gravity-die sandcast all-aluminium crankcase, weight-optimised crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimised piston rings, air-water charge air cooling, generator management and ECO start/stop function.
The A 45 AMG is also meant to be an ambassador for the “AMG Performance 50″ strategy - that will lead to the celebrations of the 50th birthday of the Mercedes-AMG GmbH brand in 2017 - but sheer performance is not what this car is all about: ‘high efficiency’ was another key-factor in the creation of this model, and this is why its engine is homologated to Euro 6 emissions standards and consumes just 6.9 litres per 100 km on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions rated at 161 grams per km.
Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving enjoyment is so-called “Momentary M mode“. In C and S mode, this enables the driver to activate manual mode (”M”) without having to remove a hand from the steering wheel, by pressing the “up” or “down” shift paddle once. In Momentary M mode the driver experiences the dynamism and performance of gear-shifting in manual mode in all of the automatic driving programmes, with automatic up- and down-shifting into the bargain.
The Mercedes A 45 AMG comes with a three-link front suspension with stiffer steering knuckles and totally new elastokinematics and a four-link rear axle with strut bearings duly adapted for maximum driving dynamics and control. The A 45 AMG also comes as standard with twin-spoke AMG alloy wheels painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish and fitted with 235/40 R 18 tyres.
The design of the model is as sporty and muscular as you would expect: the front view is characterised by the AMG “twin blade” radiator grille and the cross strut in the AMG front apron, both painted in matt titanium grey, while some black flics surround the large cooling air intakes at the sides; the side view is charactersed by the afore-mentioned alloys and the side sill panels with inserts in matt titanium grey; the rear view instead uses a rear apron with air outlet openings at the sides and a diffuser finished in matt titanium grey, while a pair of square chrome-plated tailpipes complete the bold design of the car.
The world premiere of the A 45 AMG will take place at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show (March 7-17), while the sales release date will be 8 April 2013.