The Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG — the German manufacturer's first high-performance vehicle in the compact class — has arrived in South Africa.
With a maximum output of 265kW and up to 450Nm of torque, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world.
The A 45 AMG accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 4.6 seconds, while its top speed stands at an electronically limited 250km/h.
But Mercedes says the A 45 AMG — which also boasts AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive — is not only powerful, but efficient too. The manufacturer quotes a combined fuel economy figure of 6.9 litres per 100km.
"The A 45 AMG will extend the appeal of Mercedes-Benz to new customers and new markets. AMG is world renowned for their V8 sporty engines, and we are now adding an extremely attractive model with exceptional performance credentials to the curent range of high-performance sportscars," says Selvin Govender, Divisional Manager Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars.
"With the new A 45 AMG, the AMG engineers have well and truly achieved their aim of developing the most dynamic, powerful and efficient four-cylinder series production car. With its impressive high-tech package and the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the A 45 AMG is a true AMG that possesses all the passion and performance that our customers expect and demand from their AMG supersports cars," adds Govender.
So, who makes up this new target market? Mercedes says it hopes the A 45 AMG will appeal to those aged from 30 to mid-40 — a younger group than the AMG clientele to date.
The A 45 AMG uses a twin-scroll turbocharger and maximum derestriction of the exhaust system to reach that impressive power figure. The twin-scroll technology provides for a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure, making effective use of exhaust gas back pressure, exhaust gas temperature and exhaust gas impulse.
The AMG sports exhaust system features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled exhaust flap, which is continuously adjusted by map control according to the power called up by the driver, load status and engine speed. An AMG Performance exhaust system with exhaust flap and featuring a dedicated tailpipe trim design is optionally available for the A 45 AMG.
The AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed sports transmission is directly flange-mounted on the transversely installed AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. The dual clutch transmission of the A45 features seven gears, three driving programmes, a double-declutching function and Race Start for optimum acceleration. The new A 45 AMG also comes with variable, performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard.
The A 45 AMG's three-link front suspension is provided with stiffer steering knuckles and totally new elastokinematics. Newly developed, more rigid bearings are employed in the lower link plane. These provide for more agile cornering properties and more precise and direct feedback from the road surface.
The four-link rear axle of the A 45 AMG is also a totally new development. In the course of optimising the elastokinematics, the strut bearings were duly adapted for maximum driving dynamics and control. The rear axle carrier is provided with more rigid bearings for increased driving stability; the subframe is rigidly connected to the body. The AMG sports suspension with specifically tuned spring/damper units and larger stabilisers provides for high lateral acceleration and a reduced rolling tendency in fast double bends.
The A 45 AMG comes as standard with five twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, fitted with 235/40 R18 tyres.
Inside, the A 45 AMG features sports seats in man-made leather/microfibre with red contrasting topstitching and a multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles. The dashboard trim comes in carbon-fibre look. There are five air vents in black/red, red seatbelts and the AMG door sill panels.
There's also the limited A 45 AMG "Edition 1" model. This "Edition 1" variant boasts exclusive exterior and interior details. The A 45 AMG "Edition 1" focuses on the car's affinity to motorsport: the exterior paint finish in cirrus white corresponds with the AMG sports stripes in matt graphite grey on the bonnet, roof and sides. The red highlights on the radiator grille, exterior mirrors and rear aerofoil leave a lasting impression. These highlights combine to perfection with the red painted brake callipers and the AMG multispoke light-alloy wheels painted in matt black with special AMG hub caps in central-locking look matt black with special AMG hub caps in central-locking look.
The 8 x 19 light-alloy wheels are fitted with tyres in size 235/35 R19. Both an AMG Night package and Aerodynamics package feature as standard for the "Edition 1".
Red contrasting stitching embellishes the AMG Performance seats in man-made leather/microfibre, the top section of the dashboard in man-made leather and the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/microfibre. Other visual highlights are the E-SELECT lever with embossed AMG emblem and the "Edition 1" badge on the AMG DRIVE UNIT.
A 45 AMG: R599 500 (including VAT but excluding CO2 emissions tax)
Included: Six-year or 100 000km PremiumDrive maintenance plan.