Mercedes - AMG A 45 S - The Most Powerful Four-Cylinder Car
Overdrive|January 2022
Is the most powerful four-cylinder car as riveting off the track as on it?
Tuhin Guha

Type 1,991cc, Inline-4 turbo petrol

Max power 421PS@6,750 rpm

Max torque 500Nm @5,000-5,250rpm

LxWxH(mm) 4,445 x 1,850 x 1,412

Price ₹94.49 lakh, on road Mumbai

+ Engine performance and tractability, handling and grip, features, efficiency

- Low-speed ride, seat comfort

When we first drove the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S a couple of months back, we were always going to be taken by its immense performance. But what stayed with us for longer was how the most powerful hatchback in the world had us riveted through what was otherwise a fairly straightforward highspeed run. But does the A 45 S continue to be this engaging out in the real world?

Driving impressions

This M 139 engine is still central to the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S experience away from the racetrack, as it should be in a true AMG. The 421PS and 500Nm in S guise make it the most powerful 2.0-litre turbo engine ever fitted to a production car, and with its 211PS specific output, one of the most power-dense engines currently on sale. But these numbers are hardly a representation of the motor’s best attribute, that being how easily it adjusts itself to any situation you might find yourself in with the A 45 S.

So while the fact that the engine is handbuilt the same way as the big AMG V8 and comes with an unending list of clever enhancements can make the whole affair quite intimidating at first, it couldn’t be any further from reality. On our favourite set of twisties, the A 45 S was a revelation. Even though the hot hatch is probably too fast for any given stretch of your go-to driving road, its true genius is that it never makes you feel this way. Far from being lumpen and highly strung while carving through these tight, fairly technical corners, the A 45 S seems to egg you on with its poise and responses.

There’s power throughout the revrange, not dissimilar to a large naturally aspirated motor, which means that you can choose from any number of gears while entering a corner, at speeds that sometimes defy belief. And then there is the rest of the package to complement this. The A 45 S’ front end feels sharp and communicative, nothing like your usual fast front-driven based car. And the variable-ratio steering handily enhances this sensation, it quickens progressively and naturally without feeling twitchy, always feeling positive during small corrections or at heavier turn-ins. The 19-inch tyres aren’t overly aggressive with their 245-section, which seems to help with these impressions.

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