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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - A-class - A45 AMG

A45 AMG hot hatch revealed

Yellow Terror: The Mercedes Benz A45 AMG will join the expanding premium hot hatch segment next year.

Mercedes-Benz to shake up hot hatch market with 245kW all-wheel drive A45 AMG

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Mercedes-Benz logo13 Nov 2012

By TIM NICHOLSON

MERCEDES-BENZ has released teaser images of the upcoming A-Class-based A45 AMG on its official Facebook page ahead of a more formal global reveal in early 2013.

The German giant advised that we should be “prepared for something major coming up next spring”, indicating an official unveiling in about March or April, around the time of the New York and Geneva motor shows.

The images show a partially disguised version of the all-wheel-drive hot hatch that is expected to come to Australia by the end of next year.

Revealing a more aggressive look than the standard A-Class hatch that will be launched here on March 1, the A45 AMG is shown in a yellow hue that will likely be the hero colour for the car.

The fire-breathing baby Benz will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with about 245kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

The A45 AMG will get AMG’s Speedshift DCT seven-speed dual-clutch sports transmission and will feature sports-tuned suspension, steering and braking systems.

The A45 AMG will be the latest addition to a hot hatch market that features a mixed bag of front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive models.

It will be slightly more powerful than German rival BMW’s rear-drive M135i (with 235kW) and significantly more powerful than the front-drive Renault Sport Megane RS265 (195kW).

Next year will see a number of premium hot hatch arrivals in Australia, with Audi’s upcoming 221kW S3 and the 187kW Volvo V40 T5 R-Design (due in February) set to be two of the A45’s main competitors.

Mercedes-Benz did not reveal performance data, but a spokesman indicated that the A45 AMG will be quicker than the Audi S3.

Other targets for the A45 AMG will be the 206 kW Opel Astra OPC and the 184kW Ford Focus ST – both of which have recently been launched here – before the possible arrival of a more powerful Focus RS in a couple of years.

The rest of the A-Class range will launch in Australia in the first quarter of next year with prices starting at around $35,000 for the A180 and up to $49,990 for the A250 Sport.

When the range-topping A45 AMG arrives, it is expected to be priced in the vicinity of $80,000, about $10,000 dearer than the BMW M135i.

Mercedes-Benz Australia senior manager of corporate communications David McCarthy said global demand would prevent the A-Class from matching competitors such as the Volkswagen Golf for volume in Australia.

“We are looking at around 3000 a year,” he said.

“We think supply will be quite a bit short of demand.”

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