The hot hatch world has a new hero. Mercedes-Benz. Yes, Mercedes-Benz, the company known for ferrying around African dictators in its armoured S Class saloons is now chasing the well to do dudes who used to wear their baseball caps backwards. Or something.
The car up for discussion here is, of course, the A45 AMG, sitting atop the A Class range, and it brings with it the rather bold claim that it has the most powerful four cylinder production engine IN THE WORLD!
So what are its numbers? The 2.0 litre turbocharged four-pot—hand built by AMG no less—pumps out an impressive 265kW at 6000rpm, which is accompanied by a very healthy 450Nm of torque from 2250–5000rpm. Low-end torque is achieved in part thanks to the use of a twin scroll turbo.
Mercedes has followed the fashionable twin clutch tranny route and with the 7-speed AMG Speedshift DCT doing its thing the A45 can knock off 100km/h in 4.6 seconds. That sprint time is also helped, no doubt, by the 4matic all-wheel drive system. A more measured driving approach can result in fuel consumption of just 6.9l/100km, Mercedes claim. Also, the engine complies with EU6 emissions regulations which don’t come into force until 2017.
The A45 AMG does boast a beautiful set of numbers, it must be said.
Naturally, the A45 also boasts a heap of AMG goodies and technological wizardry thanks to the Mercedes-Benz boffins. We quite like the sound of “Momentary M mode”, which is not a BMW-inspired bit of kit as the name suggests, but rather it refers to the ability to use the steering-wheel mounted flappy paddles to manually change gears at any time; much like Volkswagen Group’s DSG transmissions.
The 4matic set up sounds pretty much like an improved version of the Haldex units found in the Audi S3 and Golf R. Mercedes say their system is up to 25% lighter than its rivals, but it still works in front-wheel drive mode until grip at the rear is required. On the basic reading below, the maximum torque sent to the rear axle is 50%.
Other highlights include a three-stage ESP system, AMG-tuned independent suspension (front and rear), 18″ alloys, a specially tuned exhaust system and a whole lot more from the AMG parts bin, of course.
The A45 AMG will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, going on sale in Europe a month later. In Australia we’ll have to wait until October and while $80,000 is the figure being bandied about on the interwebs, don’t be surprised if your real-world driveaway number starts with a nine, or maybe even a 10, if you tick too many options.
The Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG—Driving Performance for the New Generation
The A 45 AMG sees Mercedes-AMG embarking on a new era. For the first time in the company’s history extending back over more than 45 years, Mercedes-Benz’s performance brand is offering a fascinating high-performance vehicle in the compact class.The A 45 AMG is representative of the “AMG Performance 50” strategy for the future, which is to run up to the 50th birthday of Mercedes-AMG GmbH in 2017. With a maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world.The sensational power density of 133 kW (181 hp) outstrips even the most powerful super sports cars. At the same time, the engine also boasts supreme efficiency and complies with the EU6 emissions standard. The A 45 AMG also leads its segment in terms of fuel consumption, running on 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in NEDC combined mode. These credentials indicate that a further high-performing member of the BlueDIRECT family is now taking to the road. The performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive onboard the A 45 AMG sets new standards in the car’s segment.
The substance of the new Mercedes-Benz vehicle architecture for front- and all-wheel drive provides the perfect basis for the A 45 AMG and at least two other high-performance premium automobiles from Affalterbach. In designing and developing the A 45 AMG, the experts at AMG have drawn on the company’s decades of experience in motorsport and the production of powerful, high-performance vehicles. As such, the A 45 AMG will inherit the corporate DNA and embody the AMG brand claim “Driving Performance” to perfection: a fascinatingly sporty driving experience combined with impressive craftsmanship and pronounced individuality.
“The A 45 AMG will enable Mercedes-AMG to appeal to new customers and tap new markets,” observes Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. We are adding an extremely attractive model with exceptional performance data to our range of unique high-performance automobiles.”
“With the new A 45 AMG we have well and truly achieved our aim of developing the most dynamic, powerful and efficient four-cylinder series production car,” comments Tobias Moers, Head of Overall Vehicle Development and Board Member of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. With its impressive high-tech package and the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the A 45 AMG is a thoroughbred AMG through and through.”
Dynamic and individual vehicle for new target group
Spanning the age range from 30 to mid-40, the target group is younger than the AMG clientele to date. In successful careers and with an independent frame of mind, these customers seek a dynamic and individual vehicle. They wish to lend expression to their style- and trend-oriented way of life with a car from a recognised high-performance brand. The A 45 AMG provides the predominantly urban target group with an agile high-performance vehicle. Mercedes-AMG accommodates their tech-savvy and individual outlook on life with an extremely broad selection of optional equipment and appointments, colours and materials.
Typically AMG: the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world
Two figures show that the A 45 AMG holds pole position in its displacement segment: the newly developed AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world. A maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque are unmatched by any other mass-produced turbocharged four-cylinder engine worldwide.
The power density of 133 kW (181 hp) is also absolutely unrivalled. In this discipline, the new AMG high-performance turbo engine even outstrips the most powerful super sports cars.
The high power and torque output and the combination with the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard lead to extremely dynamic performance: the A 45 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, while its top speed stands at 250 km/h (electronically limited). The specially developed AMG engine is also a model of efficiency – the A 45 AMG also leads its segment on this front, with fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in NEDC combined mode. This is accompanied by particularly low exhaust emissions: the A 45 AMG already complies with the EU6 emissions standard which is not scheduled to enter into force until 2015, combined with the limit for the particle count per kilometre of 6 x 1011 which will be mandatory from 2017.
The key data at a glance:
Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG
- Displacement: 1,991 cc
- Bore x stroke: 83.0 x 92.0 mm
- Compression ratio: 8.6 : 1
- Output: 265 kW (360 hp) at 6,000 rpm
- Max. torque: 450 Nm at 2,250–5,000 rpm
- Engine weight (dry): 148 kg
- Maximum engine speed: 6,700 rpm
- Power density: 133 kW (181 hp)
- Peak pressure: up to 140 bar
- Maximum charge pressure: 1.8 bar
- Fuel consumption: NEDC combined 6.9–7.1l/100km
- CO2 emissions: 161–165 g/km
- Emissions standard: EU6
- Acceleration 0-62 mph: 4.6 s
- Top speed: 155 mph*
The basis for these impressive figures is provided by the high-tech package which has been put together by Mercedes-AMG. As a high-performance engine belonging to the BlueDIRECT family, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection via piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition improves fuel utilisation and increases thermodynamic efficiency substantially, leading to lower exhaust emissions. Other highlights include the gravity-die sandcast all-aluminium crankcase, weight-optimised crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimised piston rings, NANOSLIDE cylinder wall technology, air-water charge air cooling, generator management and ECO start/stop function.
Twin-scroll turbocharger and AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap
Mercedes-AMG addresses the essential challenges concerning the response of small-displacement turbo engines by means of a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum derestriction of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. 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. This results in a swifter build-up of torque right from the lower rev range. As a positive side-effect, the twin-scroll technology also benefits fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. At a maximum charge pressure of 1.8 bar, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine also leads the field in this respect.
The AMG sports exhaust system features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled exhaust flap. This technology, which is familiar from the SLK 55 AMG, reconciles the two apparently conflicting aims of tangible dynamism and hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys. The flap is continuously adjusted by map control according to the power called up by the driver, load status and engine speed. The two striking tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system emit a fascinating, full engine sound which is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration.
An AMG Performance exhaust system with exhaust flap and featuring a dedicated tailpipe trim design is optionally available for the A 45 AMG. This provides for an even more emotional and striking engine sound when the throttle is open and during gear shifting. The double-declutching function during downshifting and the interruption of ignition and injection during upshifting under full load produce a particularly throaty sound with the AMG Performance exhaust system and create a level of emotionality which is otherwise the reserve of engines with more than 4 cylinders.
High-performance cooling system with components from the SLS AMG
The high driving dynamics of the A 45 AMG call for a highly effective cooling system. On the basis of the components belonging to the SLS AMG, a low-temperature circuit is additionally deployed for air-water charge air cooling of the four-cylinder turbo engine. The large cooler section at the front level of the cooling module is supplemented by an additional cooler in the wheel arch. Together with the charge air cooler which is connected in series, a high-performance electric pump ensures the required flow through the water coolers located behind the large intake ports. This provides for ideal cooling of the highly compressed charge air, thereby contributing towards optimum engine performance.
Cooling of the transmission oil is integrated in the water cooling circuit for the engine. The water cooler positioned behind the front apron is supported by the heat exchanger which is fitted directly on the transmission and supplied with cooling water as required by means of an auxiliary pump.
Engine production—a tradition of hand-built excellence
Similarly to all eight- and twelve-cylinder engines, the new AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is also hand-built according to the traditional AMG philosophy of “one man, one engine”. An exclusive assembly line has been set up for the new AMG engine at the Mercedes-Benz engine production plant in Kölleda – where all BlueDIRECT four-cylinder engines are built for the A- and B-Class models. A characteristic feature of the “one man, one engine” production process is the AMG engine plate bearing the signature of the responsible engine fitter. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine plate also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance brand.
AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
Dual clutch transmission and all-wheel drive – the drive package onboard the new A 45 AMG is a demonstration of high-end engineering prowess. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is directly flange-mounted on the transversely installed AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. Key software modules have been adopted from the SLS AMG super sports car with its inspirational power transmission concept. The dual clutch transmission of the A45 features seven gears, three driving programmes, a double-declutching function and RACE START for optimum acceleration. The strengths of the AMG DCT sports transmission include spontaneous gear shifting without any interruption in tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy, extremely smooth and easy gear shifting and a high level of efficiency. Reinforced gear wheels provide for maximum stability. Synchroniser rings with carbon-fibre friction linings improve durability while also optimising the response time during manual gear-changing – the ideal basis for ambitious laps on cordoned-off race tracks.
“Momentary M mode” for even greater dynamism and driving enjoyment
Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving enjoyment is so-called “Momentary M mode”. In C and S mode, this enables the driver to activate manual mode (“M”) without having to remove a hand from the steering wheel, by pressing the “up” or “down” shift paddle once. In Momentary M mode the driver experiences the dynamism and performance of gear-shifting in manual mode in all of the automatic driving programmes, with automatic up- and down-shifting into the bargain. This allows the driver to devote his full attention to the vehicle’s impressive performance.
The shift times in manual mode “M” and in Sport mode “S” are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car. Briefly and precisely interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts with a more emotional sound than ever. In “C” mode (Controlled Efficiency), tangibly soft transmission and engine characteristics support a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style. The ECO start/stop function is also active in “C” mode.
Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive
The new A 45 AMG comes with variable, performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard. In developing this all-wheel drive, the focus firmly was on performance and dynamism. The power flux to the rear powertrain is provided by a compact power take-off unit (PTU) which is fully integrated in the 7-speed sports transmission. It does not possess an oil circuit of its own. Instead, it is supplied with lubricant from the oil circuit of the sports transmission. This configuration gives rise to substantial weight advantages in comparison to rival systems which branch off power by means of an add-on component with its own oil circuit. Together with the friction-minimised tapered roller bearings, the PTU achieves an excellent level of efficiency.
As an additional bonus, the system weight of the new AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive is up to 25 percent lighter than the all-wheel drive versions offered by the competition.
A two-part propeller shaft transfers the power from the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine to the rear axle. In the interests of favourable weight distribution, an electrohydraulically controlled multi-disc clutch is integrated with the rear axle differential. The multi-disc clutch immediately detects slip at the front axle. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this takes place virtually without the driver noticing. To enable particularly fast response, the pump is always active and does not require to be started up each time it is needed, such as is customary with other systems. Power distribution is fully variable: in normal driving, the A 45 AMG uses front-wheel drive in the interests of optimum efficiency. When the driving dynamics so require, the variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive splits the torque between front and rear axle up to a ratio of 50 : 50 percent. The variables influencing the power distribution ratio are vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, speed difference between the individual wheels, selected gear and accelerator position.
3-stage ESP® with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist
An exclusive feature is the interaction of the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive with the 3-stage ESP® and the ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist. The three ESP® stages enable the driver to vary the dynamics of the A 45 AMG according to his individual wishes at the push of a button. The safety-oriented “ESP ON” mode supports the driver in maintaining neutral handling characteristics. The system initiates braking intervention on one or more wheels and reduces the engine torque on detecting that the operating conditions are becoming unstable.
Briefly pressing the ESP® button activates “ESP SPORT Handling” mode. This dynamically oriented driving mode applies appropriate control strategies for later ESP® intervention and increased drive torque at the rear axle. This means more fun at the wheel for drivers who are keen to exploit the vehicle’s dynamic potential. Pressing the ESP® button longer activates “ESP OFF”. In this mode, the ESP® functions are not available. ESP OFF should only be used by experienced drivers on cordoned-off race tracks. When the driver steps on the brake pedal in the course of braking in “SPORT Handling” mode or “ESP OFF” mode, all the safety functions of the ESP® system are restored.
ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist complements the ESP® system to perfection: during dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the inside wheel gives rise to a defined yaw moment around the vertical axis, resulting in precise cornering by the A 45 AMG and ensuring that the vehicle remains under control at all times. Curve Dynamic Assist is adapted according to the selected ESP® mode. In “ESP SPORT Handling” mode and “ESP OFF” mode it supports the driver’s wish for increased agility and driving dynamics. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is an additional function of the Electronic Stability Program which noticeably improves not only agility, but also active driving safety in critical conditions.
AMG sports suspension with independent front and rear axle
Like every AMG high-performance automobile, the new A 45 AMG also incorporates sophisticated axle technology. For enhanced driving dynamics, the 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 more rigid bearings also lead to higher camber stiffness, enabling higher cornering speeds. In developing the complete front axle, great importance has been attached to attaining the best possible traction in highly dynamic driving.
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 twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, fitted with 235/40 R 18 tyres.
AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and AMG high-performance braking system
The electromechanical Dual Pinion AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with AMG-specific, speed-dependent power assistance and a constant steering ratio (14.5 : 1) enables high steering precision and agility. The electric motor is installed in space-saving configuration on the steering gear. The AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated and perforated brake discs all round in size 350 x 32 millimetres at the front and 330 x 22 millimetres at
the rear provides for spontaneous and reliable deceleration.
Exterior design with sporty and muscular highlights
Mercedes-AMG adds emphatically sporty and muscular highlights to the emotional exterior design of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class sporting the new dynamic style, sculptural character and feature lines on the sides. These refinements ensure that the A 45 AMG looks the part as a distinctive high-performance automobile – a genuine AMG through and through.
The front view of the A 45 AMG is characterised by the AMG “twin blade” radiator grille and the cross strut in the AMG front apron, both painted in matt titanium grey. Striking black flics surround the large cooling air intakes at the sides. An interesting side view is guaranteed by the AMG light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design and the side sill panels with inserts in matt titanium grey. The “TURBO AMG” lettering on the wing is exclusive to the top model of the A-Class. The AMG rear apron with its highlighted air outlet openings at the sides features a diffusor insert and trim in matt titanium grey. Two square, chrome-plated tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap add an appropriately bold finishing touch.
Dynamic and exclusive interior design and appointments
Inside, too, the new A 45 AMG boasts a heady mix of hallmark Mercedes-AMG dynamism and exclusivity. The sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting topstitching, the multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and the AMG DRIVE UNIT set new standards in terms of both appearance and quality. The dashboard trim comes in carbon-fibre look – a perfect match for the five air vents in black/red, the red seat belts and the AMG door sill panels. The AMG instrument cluster presents information by means of a central colour display with the AMG main menu and the RACETIMER.
Numerous individualisation options are available for the A 45 AMG (selection):
- AMG Aerodynamics package: AMG rear aerofoil, additional flics in front apron, larger front splitter
- AMG carbon-fibre exterior mirror housing
- AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre package: front splitter, side sill panel inserts and trim on rear apron in genuine carbon fibre
- AMG rear aerofoil
- AMG Exclusive package
- AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels in 8 x 19 fitted with 235/35 R 19 tyres, in two variants: painted in titanium grey with high-sheen finish or in matt
- black with high-sheen rim flange
- AMG Night package: privacy glass, black anodised waistline trim strip, black tailpipe trims in chromed finish, radiator fins in silver chrome, high-gloss black painted finish for front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel inserts and rear apron trim
- AMG Performance exhaust system incl. tailpipe trims in specific design
- AMG Performance suspension with tauter spring/damper tuning
- AMG Performance steering wheel and E-SELECT lever, electronic key with AMG emblem
- AMG Performance seats
- AMG wheel bolt covers in black with hub caps in central-locking look (for standard AMG light-alloy wheels only)
- Red painted callipers
Expressive and exclusive: the A 45 AMG “Edition 1”
The A 45 AMG “Edition 1” stands apart both on a technical level and in terms of appearance. As is familiar from the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, the fully appointed “Edition 1” model variant boasts an expressive composition of 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.
The 8 x 19 light-alloy wheels are fitted all-round with tyres in size 235/35 R 19. Both the AMG Night package and the Aerodynamics package feature as standard for the “Edition 1”, providing the perfect finishing touch to the model’s motorsport-inspired character.
Black and red dominate the interior of the A 45 AMG “Edition 1”, too. Red contrasting stitching embellishes the AMG Performance seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, the top section of the dashboard in ARTICO man-made leather and the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre. Other visual highlights are the E-SELECT lever with embossed AMG emblem and the “Edition 1” badge on the AMG DRIVE UNIT.
The world premiere of the A 45 AMG will take place at the Geneva Motor Show, whose doors open on 5 March 2013. The sales release date will be 8 April 2013; the market launch in Germany will begin this June.
The website devoted to the A 45 AMG allows the new star from AMG to be discovered in interactive mode. Comments, films and pictures from fans of the AMG Twitter and Facebook pages are also displayed for all visitors on the site’s social wall, accompanied by an option for users to publish their own statements.