Complete Car | Test Drives MercedesBenz A 45 AMG

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Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG

Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG

Hot hatches don’t get hotter than the new 360hp, drive Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG.

June 2013

Where: Berg, Germany

What: A 45 AMG

Occasion: International first

Overall rating: 4/5

Say hello to the new to the ever-expanding AMG line-up. The A 45 AMG is the smallest AMG yet, but it still packs a punch thanks to its boosted engine and grippy four-wheel chassis.

Model driven: A 45 AMG (with sports exhaust)


Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol

Transmission: dual-clutch automatic, 4MATIC drive

Body style: hatchback

Rivals: Audi RS 3 BMW M135i xDrive, Volkswagen R

CO 2 emissions: 161g/km (Band D, per annum)

Combined economy: (6.9 litres/100km) — we 13 litres/100km on the (fast) road and 20 on the track.

Top speed: 250km/h

4.6 seconds

Power: 360hp at

Torque: 450Nm at 2,250- to

Weight: 1,555kg

In the Metal: 5/5

The sculpted lines of the Mercedes-Benz form a good basis for an AMG There’s an all-new front and grille, much larger air and a splitter than can be finished in or carbon black. The same are available for the side sill Out back there’s another new this time housing a insert and large squared-off outlets. The latter two openings are into four when the performance exhaust is fitted. can also specify additional elements such as aero to the sides of the front bumper and a roof spoiler at the back.

standard on the Edition 1 model, with an even larger splitter. Buyers can choose cirrus white and cosmos paint, though the red highlights are on both, as are red brake callipers, behind multi-spoke 19-inch wheels painted matt and featuring AMG hub caps with a look. The AMG Night package is included.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG

Inside, the red-stitched AMG Seats are standard, as is a tactile weave for the whole dashboard. The air are highlighted in red (which we reckon is a bit though the bespoke instruments are as to look at as they are easy to Between them is a computer that features more system readouts on demand in a regular A-Class. The leather and steering wheel has a moderately bottom and it’s just on the side of too thick-rimmed. The suede is lovely to hold. Behind the is a seriously solid set of real gearchange paddles and the other operations are taken care of by the chunky selector in the centre

The Edition 1’s cabin the black and red theme further, contrast stitching in the part leather/microfibre seats, in the doors, the instruments and on the steering wheel. The selector also has the AMG emblem into the leather and Merc throws in a set of AMG floor mats.

it: 4/5

At the launch we spent most of our (on track and on the road) in an example of the A 45 AMG with the performance exhaust It makes the car surprisingly loud, when you select Sport the gearbox menu and Sport from the three-stage ESP system. are crackles and pops on the overrun, bangs when you upshift at throttle and even when cruising it makes itself Some wouldn’t have car without this option; will hate it.

The performance exhaust does the engine alive, which we it needs. Nobody can deny it’s a highly impressive of engineering, currently laying to the title of ‘most powerful four-cylinder turbo engine in the and seemingly second only to the P1 in terms of outright power per at 181hp. It produces a beefy which makes itself as the needle of the rev counter accelerates the last quarter of the dial, but its of torque endows the car with tractability. That peak is on tap all the way from 2,250- to 5,000rpm and there’s always meaningful available. The 4.6-second 0-100km/h indicates how quick this car is the driver can test it out for himself the ‘Race Start’ launch system), but as ever with a torque-rich engine it’s the sprints that truly

To best use it we found it makes to take control of the seven-speed transmission for yourself. The Comfort is fine when cruising or in and Sport mode is appreciably but sometimes it changes down a when you’d rather use the torque. Using Manual also allows you make gratuitous down-changes of course, initiates a flare of revs and the smile-inducing sounds from the

In the dry, on the public road, be hard pushed to call the ESP into play without trying to provoke the car. The Sport Handling setting is though even with the disengaged it takes a huge of provocation to initiate a rear-led Indeed, driven hard on the challenging undulations of the new Bilster circuit, understeer soon set in and the tyres rarely naturally It turns out that the maximum of the 4MATIC four-wheel drive is 50 per cent of the engine’s output to the wheels. That really is a Likewise, there’s no limited differential available for this We can’t argue with the that it’s incredibly balanced and quite adjustable at the or with the direct steering and competence on the road, but drivers to the rear-led feeling of say a high-powered BMW may not the A 45 AMG enticing enough.

We’re a little surprised to hear adaptive damping isn’t The suspension is bespoke to the AMG car, and it considerably firmer body than the lesser A-Class but we do worry about how stiff it may be for roads. Certainly on the optional stunning) 19-inch alloy Behind those rims is an brake system, which with a reassuringly firm

What you get for your Money: 4/5

Audi launches its next RS 3 Sportback the Merc A 45 AMG appears to few direct rivals, which it difficult to rate in terms of for money. It is well equipped, as hope for an estimated starting here of €60,000. The Edition 1 is considerably more expensive we don’t yet have a price for

In terms of efficiency, official of 161g/km and 40.9mpg are astounding for the on offer, but even if you tap into a fraction of the power regularly come nowhere near to the quoted combined economy For the record we averaged 13 litres/100km over two days of particularly driving — including a foray onto the autobahn. to 30mpg should be possible at speeds. On track we saw an average of 20 (14.1mpg)!

To make the A 45 a true AMG car its is of course hand built in the ‘one man, one engine’ and it bears his stamp on it. It’s with technology, but the most elements appear to be the multi-stage direct fuel injection and the twin-scroll turbocharger. Combined, manage to enhance performance and while assisting to reduce and fuel consumption. The injection in particular is credited with the emission of pollutants (as opposed to CO 2 . is not locally harmful) to the levels by the second stage of EU6 legislation which doesn’t come force until 2017.

We’re not giving the new Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG the five stars, due mainly to the last nth of driver involvement and the worry about the stiffness of the However, we welcome the baby AMG car open arms and there’s no that it’s one of the most hot hatches money can buy right

Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG
Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG
Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG
Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG

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