Mercedes-AMG A45 S
What Car? UK|October 2019
Mercedes-AMG A45 S
Forget the Audi RS3; hatchbacks come no hotter than AMG’s new 416bhp A-Class On sale September Price from £50,000 (est)
Alan Taylor-Jones

FOUR HUNDRED AND sixteen horsepower. That might seem like the power figure for a hardcore sports car or performance saloon, but it’s actually how much grunt the Mercedes-AMG A45 S packs into its sensible hatchback body.

But even more impressive than that figure, or indeed the 3.9sec 0-62mph time, is how it’s achieved. You see, the engine is only a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit – albeit with a turbocharger that’s probably bigger than your head.

Like the 302bhp A35, the A45 S uses an eightspeed dual-clutch automatic gearbox to feed its power to all four wheels. However, the 4Matic+ four-wheel drive system it uses is far cleverer than the regular 4Matic setup in the A35; it can not only vary the power split front to rear but also from side to side at the rear. This boosts agility – and allows for a Ford Focus RS-style drift mode, in which you can hang the tail out like a rear-wheel-drive car.

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October 2019