Design first and briefly, then: the Mercedes-AMG A 45 is a fairly subtle uplift to the regular A-Class Mercedes. It’s not that it lacks overt sporting cues; there are the big wheels and deep skirts and the like. It’s just that, even on its cooking models, Mercedes has given the A-Class a certain visual sportiness.
However, no other A-Class has the technological armoury that this one does. There’s a truly impressive 2.0-litre engine, which gains the signature of the technician who assembled it under AMG’s ‘one man, one engine’ mantra.
The specific power output of 188bhp per litre is a number to be marvelled at, even though it uses a turbocharger.
Its 376bhp goes to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 4Matic four-wheel drive system. It is normally front-wheel drive, apportioning power – up to a maximum of 50 percent – to the rear wheels only once the fronts begin to lose traction.
At the front, the A 45 retains the A-Class’s MacPherson strut suspension but is fitted with stiffer steering knuckles and changes to bushings, springs and dampers. At the rear, the multi-link suspension is more heavily revised – including becoming rigidly attached to the body to provide greater precision and stiffness, presumably at the expense of some refinement and isolation.