The world's fastest hot hatch? Mercedes reveals 310kW A45 pocket rocket
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Well, yeah. This probably is the world's fastest hot hatch.
The unveiling of Mercedes-AMG's A45 has been long teased out. From the unveiling of the less powerful but no doubt still riotous A35, to the brand confirming that its engine will be the most powerful four-cylinder ever made, to videos of A45s dressed in thick camouflage drifting in the snow.
Thankfully, finally, the wait to see AMG's new pocket rocket is over.
Overnight, AMG revealed not one but two new cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed; the A45 and its sedan cousin, the CLA45.
Apart from both being pint-sized performance powerhouses with the same iconic badge on the snout, both cars also share one other integral element in common — the engine.
The engine is the M139; a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit that comes in two flavours. The foundation version standard in entry level vehicles makes 285kW of power and 480Nm of torque — more than enough for most. But top-spec versions (which will be found in A45 S and CLA45 S models) make a monstrous 310kW/510Nm.
For reference. A current Audi RS3 makes 294kW and 480Nm, while mainstream entries like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R make 257kW/440Nm and 228kW/400Nm respectively.
That had all been previously reported on, but now AMG has also confirmed the 0–100kmh times.
According to them, in its top-spec form the engine is good to hit the tonne in 3.9 seconds in the A45 and 4.0 seconds in the CLA 45 S. The less powerful configuration will be capable of hitting 100km/h in 4.0 seconds (A45) and 4.1 seconds (CLA45), respectively. Top speed on the A45 and CLA45 is limited to 250km/h, with S models increasing that figure to 270km/h.
All models will come equipped with a AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission and fully variable performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive — both of which no doubt playing a significant supporting role to those aforementioned acceleration figures.
That all-wheel drive system now sports something called AMG Torque Control in the rear differential. The brand says that that the system can control the amount of power sent to either rear wheel with much greater precision than previously, via two electronically controlled multi-disc clutches.
From a technical standpoint, it's one of a raft of changes made under the skins of each of these performance models. Other alterations include a stronger bodyshell than standard A-Class and CLA models, additional struts and aluminium plating, and the much touted 'Drift Mode'.
The cabins for both cars have also been shown off, featuring all of the latest Mercedes-Benz tech wizardry — including the MBUX 'Hey Mercedes' infotainment system, as well as a plethora of yellow highlights, sports bucket seats, an Alcantara steering wheel, and an AMG motif on the dashboard.
Availability and release dates for the pairing are yet to be announced for New Zealand (and, for that matter, the rest of the world). However, it's expected that they'll start touching down in various markets by the end of this year.