As revealed by evo, the third generation A-Class will be substantially re-worked by AMG into a 330bhp four-wheel drive super hot-hatch, to rival the Audi RS3 and BMW 135i.
Now officially known as the A45 AMG, the smallest AMG model ever will be powered by the same 2.0-litre ‘M271’ unit as the A250 sport, with a new high-flow cylinder head, improved induction system, boosting the power to 330bhp – making this Mercedes’ most powerful four-cylinder engine ever used in a road car.
In order to handle the power, the standard front-wheel drive layout has been upgraded, via a Haldex four-wheel drive system – providing extra traction when it’s needed. The suspension system is a reworked version of the A250’s MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear set-up, with stiffer springs and dampers, a wider track and thicker anti-roll bars.
Benchmarked against its two main rivals, the Audi RS3 and BMW 135i, Mercedes’ Brixworth-based High Performance Engine division were given the target of 335bhp – from a smaller 2.0-litre engine. Pricing for the A45 AMG has yet to be announced, but expect to pay about £35,000.