Mercedes A45 AMG review price and specs | evo

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Mercedes A45 AMG review, price and

The Mercedes A45 takes AMG in a new direction, four-wheel drive and a 355bhp turbo engine. A hot hatch in the making?

October 2013

is it?

The new Mercedes A45 AMG, the car most to push the boundaries of hatchback To call it a radical departure the AMG formula is something of an understatement. a transverse-engined hot hatch that its power to the front wheels by and then sends up to 50 per cent of its to the rear axle when Furthermore, its engine is a 2-litre four with a single turbocharger a far cry from the large-capacity V8s of its Prices start at £37,845.

highlights?

That turbocharged petrol engine is hand-built by one just like the 6.2-litre V8 in an SLS AMG Series or the 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 in an It produces an astonishing 355bhp at and 332lb ft from 2250 to and drives through the seven-speed AMG dual-clutch gearbox. With the of a launch control system ‘Race Start’, the A45 scrabbles to in a claimed 4.6sec, considerably than the process of engaging LC

First, you put the car into Drive and it on the brakes. Next you press the control button once to its Sport mode, then the transmission to its manual mode. Now back on both steering-wheel paddles simultaneously until the display reads ‘race available’. Then pull the paddle again to confirm go, and floor the throttle and release the when you’re ready to off.

The result for us was a 0-60 time of with 0-100mph taking numbers that are near-identical to recorded for the V8-powered E92 BMW M3. This force can be replicated over and again, and is available despite a kerb weight of 1480kg, 85kg more than an S3. And if you’re prepared to pay £1940 for the AMG Package, the A45 will hurtle all the way to before the electronic limiter in.

What’s it like to drive?


You the engine and it booms into and settles into an oddly idle that could be a four-cylinder engine droning large-diameter exhaust pipes. ugly but somehow exciting and workmanlike. You just know ready to deliver a big brawny to your kidneys.

They won’t be the only that might get bruised by the however, because the ride is stiff, jiggling and jolting at low so badly that even a Megane Cup owner would at the discomfort. Incredibly, there’s an AMG suspension option that we is even stiffer. Needless to don’t take it.

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But if the bucking quality is initially off-putting, the is anything but. The twin-scroll ensures that the engine particularly laggy and there’s fun to be had extending it beyond the richly mid-range, for it seems to gain energy over 5000rpm, and to 6500rpm with the ferocity expect from 355bhp, each upchange of the twin-clutch is accompanied by a bird-scarer bang!

The A45 is blisteringly quick everywhere, with the transmission left in the aggressive Sport auto in which the gearbox sheds in response to even the smallest pressures. But this isn’t a car gives more than rewards beyond the thrill of speed. The steering is heavy and are keen, but there’s no encouragement to go and the massively high limits, let try and breach them.

The balance is mild understeer even you select the looser AMG Sport ESP which in theory makes the system keener to send rearwards. In low- and medium-speed you won’t notice, and it feels a front-driver with strong but without the sense of agility of the It’s more exciting quicker turns, where you can the tail start to come play. But you emerge from it it would be a more rewarding car to if it had less grip and a chassis enabled you to explore its limits, if that meant less pace.

How does it compare?

Its nearest are the rear-drive, 316bhp BMW M135i from £30,570 though as an eight-speed automatic equipped to match the A45) and the all-wheel-drive, Audi S3 quattro (£30,640 as a five-door auto). Both are powerful than the mad Merc, more focused M Division and RS3 likely in the future, yet they to be more involving too. The BMW which alongside the Renault 265. is one of the best hot hatchbacks on At over ten grand cheaper the A45 in basic trim, the excellent new mk7 VW GTI is worth a look too.

Anything else I need to

The Mercedes A45 AMG completes the quarter-mile in 12.8sec at 110.6mph the former 0.1sec closer to our recorded for the Bugatti Veyron (10.5sec) the Ford Focus ST (15.2sec). The A45 has a four-door saloon sibling: CLA45 AMG review here.

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