Here at AUSmotive we were pretty excited when Mercedes unveiled its new A-Class at the Geneva Motor Show back in March. We liked the almost experimental approach to its styling, even if, on reflection, it may be a little fussy. We applauded Mercedes for being brave and stepping outside the norm in order to chase new, more youthful, buyers.
However, the seed to liking the new A-Class was planted last September when we spoke about the high-powered AMG version. Now, thanks to Autocar, we can bring you an update on the car that Mercedes-Benz will aim squarely at the 250kW Audi RS3 and 235kW BMW M135i.
Take note of those power figures, because this “A45 AMG” model is expected to sit right in the middle, with around 245kW (330hp) predicted. It’ll be powered by the first transversely mounted AMG engine, which will actually be a tuned version of the Mercedes 2.0 litre turbo four found in the A250 (pictured above).
Indeed, we like this quote from Tobias Moers, head of development at AMG, “Our goal right from the start was to match the output of the larger turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine used by the RS3.”
One could argue Mercedes is using the RS3 as a blueprint; it will also feature a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and Haldex-equipped all-wheel drive system. It’s also expected AMG will attempt to live up to its hitherto rear-wheel drive heritage by tuning the all-wheel drive for a rear-drive bias under full acceleration.
Mercedes continues to be brave, with one insider claiming the A45 AMG will have “the highest corner speeds among its rivals.”
These bold claims and brave styling sit quite well with us, how about you? The A45 AMG is scheduled for release in early 2013.