In 2012, Mercedes-Benz introduced the third generation of their A-Class, designated the W176-series. Its direct competitors are the Audi A3, BMW 1-series, plus -on paper- the Lexus CT and Infiniti Q30 (which is fully based on the A-Class). All of them are high-end C-segment/compact hatchbacks.
The automaker’s über-hot hatch, the Mercedes-AMG A 45 4Matic, was launched in June 2013. All-wheel drive and powered by a 2.0 liter engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger, initially its maximum power output was 360 DIN-hp @ 6,000 rpm. The transmission is a 7-speed AMG Speedshift DCT.
The other day I caught two of these automotive equivalents of a pit bull terrier, kindly parked next to each other.
The wildest looking AMG A 45 is from 2016.
It speaks for itself that 360 hp was hardly enough for a compact that weighs about 1,450 kg (3,197 lbs), so its maximum power was raised to 381 DIN-hp in September 2015.
Here’s the 2017 AMG A 45, dressed in black.
The top speed of the Mercedes-AMG A 45 was limited to 250 km/h (155 mph), except if you ordered the AMG Driver’s Package, in which case the top speed is 270 km/h (168 mph). The package included a driver training.
Additional info for sprinters triggered by traffic lights turning green: 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds.
For comparison purposes, here’s a second gen A-Class (W169-series), as introduced in 2004. Clearly an updated 1997-2004 first gen A-Class (W168-series), which was the first front-wheel drive, compact Mercedes-Benz. Practical minivans, featuring a sandwich platform, whereas the third generation became a “traditional” compact hatchback. Pictured a 2007 Mercedes-Benz A 170, powered by a 1.7 liter gasoline engine.
The fourth generation of the A-Class was unveiled last February. An AMG version is not available yet, but it will get not less than 400 hp. It simply must, to compete against the Audi RS 3 Sportback, to name another über-hot hatch.
The little AMG beasts as seen here are in the same price-segment as a well-equipped Mercedes-Benz E-Class. How about that, a compact hatchback for the same price as an executive sedan. In the end it’s all about personal preferences and needs. At least there are still automakers that offer you a choice.