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Geneva show: AMG chases young with brutal A45

Join the queue: The number of pre-orders for the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is expected to leap beyond the 100 already taken now that pricing has been announced.

Hardcore 265kW/450Nm 2.0-litre AMG-tuned Mercedes A-Class hatch emerges


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13 Feb 2013

THE sensational new Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG all-wheel-drive hot hatch will use what is claimed to the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine when it launches in Australia around September.

Revealed for the first time overnight ahead of its global premiere at the Geneva motor show in early March, the pocket missile will leap straight to the top of the brand new A-Class range and reach for jugular of arch-nemesises such as the BMW M135i and Audi’s brand new S3.

Mercedes is pitching its smallest AMG-tuned model at a younger crowd, hoping to expand the breadth of its performance arm by luring a predominately male audience aged between 30 and 45.

Local pricing is expected to hover somewhere near $80,000, with the AMG to wrestle the title of range flagship from the sprightly $49,900 A250 Sport launched here last week.

Mercedes-Benz Australia enjoyed enormous success with its AMG range, with the local market the sixth-largest in the world (number one in the southern hemisphere) and the single largest per-capita.

As we have reported, the A45 will be a lynchpin in the brand’s plan to double AMG sales in Australia in the near future.

Outstripping even generous predictions, the AMG’s fire-breathing (and hand-built) 2.0-litre turbo engine pumps out 265kW of power at 6000rpm and 450Nm of torque between 2250 and 5000rpm – enough for Mercedes to claim the title of world’s most potent series-production four-pot.

Power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed double-clutch transmission with paddle-shifters, and the car can dash from zero to 100km/h in 4.6 seconds on its way to an electronically limited 250km/h top speed – securing bragging rights from the BMW (5.1s) and Audi (5.0s).

The German brand designed the A-Class’ modular platform to accommodate AWD from the get-go, and the four-paw system under the A45 is said to be 25 per cent lighter than rivals. In normal driving it is front-biased, but can split torque 50:50 in more slippery situations.

Mercedes claims fuel consumption of just 6.9 litres per 100km on the combined cycle – if you can keep your lead foot away from the throttle, that is.

Despite having half the cylinders of its AMG brethren, Mercedes claims to have retained the signature throaty exhaust note found on models such as the C63 thanks to a sports exhaust system that adjusts outputs depending on driving style.

Suspension, electro-mechanical speed-sensitive power steering and high-performance brakes (350mm front discs and 330mm rear) have also been tuned by AMG.

The big daddy of the A-Class range is differentiated externally from its more humble siblings by its aggressive front and rear diffusers, side sills, AMG ‘twin-blade’ radiator grille, matte grey front apron, black 18-inch alloy wheels, square chrome-tipped exhaust pipes and ‘Turbo AMG ’ lettering.

Inside the cabin are new additions including Artico artificial leather racing-style seats, a new multi-function steering wheel with paddles, carbon fibre-look dash trim, red highlights on the seats and vents and a central multimedia display with race-timer.

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