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[NEWS] Mercedes-AMG A45 S

Mercedes-AMG A45 S

01 Mercedes AMG A45 S RT 2023 lead driving front
Hot hatch thermometer hits furnace temperatures for this range-topping A-Class

The second-generation Mercedes-AMG A45 still looks like a significant landmark in the evolution of the hot hatchback, even three years after its launchDepending on how public opinion continues to view outlandish and excessive performance cars like this over the next decade, it may even turn out to be a high-water mark of a sort. With 416bhp on tap from its turbocharged four-cylinder engine, this is nothing less than the most powerful series-production example of its performance breed there has ever been. It is, in short, the very hottest hot hatchback in the world.The A45 S is more powerful and expensive even than the rarest, hottest and priciest cult ‘fast 4x4s’ of the past 20 years: the Subaru Impreza STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. It joined the Mercedes-AMG showroom range at the same time as the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S, which is almost mechanically identical and allows you to choose a very similar driving experience wrapped up in the body of either a four-door coupé or as a Mercedes CLA 45 S Shooting Brake estate.It may be the most powerful of its kind, but the A45 S is also, by some margin, the most expensive of its kind. When it launched in 2020, it cost from £50,570. With the addition of inflation and the subtraction of the entry-level trims, that has risen to an eye-watering £63,285. And that means, of course, the car very boldly takes the hot hatchback into direct value comparisons where it perhaps ought to fear to tread, against sports cars such as the Alpine A110, Porsche 718 Cayman and BMW M2 Competition. But then it also promises outright performance to make those comparisons surprisingly tough to call: 0-60mph in less than 4.0sec and nearly 170mph flat out.So the next few pages should tell you whether a four-wheel-drive Mercedes A-Class really can go that fast, out of the brochure and on real-world Tarmac; and, perhaps more important, whether the new A45 can transcend the limitations that typically bind hot hatchbacks and offer the driver appeal to rival the mid-engined sports cars and rear-driven muscle coupés that £60,000 would otherwise buy.The A-Class range at a glanceBased on the Mercedes A-Class high-volume hatchback, the A45 S crowns a broad range that includes diesel, petrol and plug-in hybrid A-class options. However, the A45 S is far more customised than its range-mates, not least because of its entirely new, AMG-built engine.VersionpowerA180134bhpA200161bhpA200d148bhpA250e215bhpMercedes-AMG A35 4Matic302bhpMercedes-AMG A45 4Matic+*416bhp*Version testedTRANSMISSIONS7-spd dual-clutch automatic    8-spd dual-clutch automatic (A200d, A250e, A35, A45

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