RAC Cars News


A45 AMG Rewrites The Rules

By raccars Published

This summer is packed with activity for Mercedes. Along with the E63 AMG, the CLA, the SLS AMG E-Cell, the GL Class and CLA 45 AMG, we have the rather exciting A45 AMG.

Until last year Mercedes' A Class resolutely failed to live up to the brand's premium image. While its latest incarnation is a distinct improvement on those that had gone before, it's still far from exciting. Even with a history of stunning AMG high-performance editions behind it, Mercedes has pulled off a huge surprise with the stunning A45 AMG. With 360bhp, more torque than a Porsche Carrera 911 S and AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, this goes way beyond the definition of a hot hatch, almost creating a class of its own.

The A45 AMG's engine originates from the distinctly humble 2.0 litre unit used in the A250, but the basic premise has been turned upside by some serious tuning, twin radiators and a bigger intercooler, among other technical tweaks. The suspension has received similar attention and the whole rides upon some big, fat brakes and 235/35YR-19 boots. On the road, the A45 AMG is fabulously slick to drive, armed with a dual clutch seven speed automatic transmission with lightning quick shifts and equally alert steering response. Performance is licence endangering, with a time of 4.6 seconds to get to 62mph and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph in most markets, with a lucky few getting a more relaxed 175mph restriction.

While the A45 AMG has definitely been styled up, the result is understated. The AMG trademarks are there in the front grille, side air intakes, twin spoke light alloys and matt titanium grey coloured apron and door sills. The rear end boasts similar clues and a pair of square, chromed sports exhausts to leave the trained eye in no doubt what it's looking at. The cabin has a reassuringly premium feel, with sports seats upholstered in Artico natural-effect leather and Dinamica microfibre, red contrast stitching to the steering wheel and other red trim elements to the air vents and seat belts.

The car is furnished with all the safety and dynamic control features you would expect from a range-topping Mercedes and is offered with a slew of optional extras which, although highly desirable, are likely to crush the residual value if you get carried away. With the alleged "most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world", you wouldn't expect the A45 AMG to be economical, but 40.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 165g/km are quite respectable for this level of performance. In fact, it's all shockingly impressive.

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