Mercedes-Benz has officially revealed the range-topping A-Class, with the introduction of its A 45 AMG.
Designed to compete for buyers with the BMW M135i and Audi’s RS 3 Sportback, the A 45 AMG is propelled by a newly developed all-aluminium AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, producing 265 kW (360 hp) and 450 Nm of torque, which sends its power to a revised version of the company’s AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive via a SPEEDSHIFT DCT seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The transmission is uprated with reinforced gear wheels, carbon-fibre friction linings on the synchroniser rings and software from the SLS AMG. The driver can choose between three modes — Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual, while the ESP stability system can be disabled altogether or switched to Sport.
On the road, 100 km/h happens in 4.6 seconds, top speed is limited to a meagre 250 km/h, with consumption working out at 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in NEDC combined mode and CO2 emissions of 161g/km, helped partly by the ECO start/stop function and alternator disconnect.
Bulked-up hardware includes an SLS AMG cooling circuit, an AMG braking system with cross-drilled 350 x 32 mm front discs and 330 x 22 mm rears, tweaked speed-sensitive sports steering, stiffer steering knuckles and more rigid bearings in the lower link plane for increased cornering properties.
Visually the A 45 AMG wears a matte grey twin blade radiator grille, AMG front apron with oversized air intakes, side skirts, rear apron with air outlets and diffuser, twin trapezoidal tailpipes and matte grey 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels covered in 235/40 tyres. Moving inside, the seats wear a mixture of ARTICO man-made leather and DINAMICA microfibre with red stitching, while the dashboard gets a coating of carbon-look trim. You also get red seatbelts, an AMG instrument cluster including race timer and multifunction steering wheel with flappy paddles.
Notable options include 19-inch multi-spoke alloys, the AMG aero package, carbon fibre spoilers and mirror casings, tauter AMG Performance suspension and lightweight thin-shell seats.
As with the CLA-Class, Mercedes-Benz will also be offering an Edition 1 version of the A 45 AMG. Exclusive features include the AMG aero package, cirrus white paintwork with matte grey striping on the hood, roof and sides, red detailing on the radiator grille, mirrors and rear spoiler and matte black 8 x 19-inch alloys with 235/35 tyres. Interior additions include ‘Edition 1’ badging, AMG Performance seats and steering wheel trimmed in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre and an AMG embossed E-SELECT lever.
Due to make its debut in Geneva next month, orders will begin in Germany will begin in April, with the market launch slated for June.