Engine and gearbox
It’s hard not to be impressed with the power AMG’s engineers have managed to extract from a mere 2.0-litres of capacity, even with turbocharging. 376bhp is a lot of power by anyone’s standards, let alone that of similarly-sized cars, and with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and docile responses at low speeds it’s as easy to drive as an entry-level Mercedes A180. Sending power through all four wheels as part of a 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, the A45’s reserves of traction are never in doubt.
Importantly, it’s also a ‘proper’ AMG. Just like other models so-badged, the A45’s engine is hand-assembled by one person from start to finish. Such a procedure was always a highlight of older AMGs, but it’s somehow more impressive still with the A45, given the comparably huge numbers the smaller car sells in.
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The A45’s headline power output is developed at 6000rpm, with 350lb ft of torque on offer on a 2250-5000rpm plateau. Some may point out that Mitsubishi once produced Lancer Evolutions with greater specific outputs, but realistically the cars are beyond comparison - the AMG not only produces impressive power, but does so with a three-year warranty, 12,500-mile service intervals, and combined economy of 40.9mpg - figures in the 30s are entirely realistic.