Mercedes-AMG has unleashed the latest incarnation of its powerful A45 – packing the world’s most powerful four-cylinder series-production engine.
Underneath the bonnet sits a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, which pushes out up to 415bhp in A45 S 4Matic+ specification, and 387bhp in standard guise.
It means that even the standard car produces 85bhp than the current-quickest A35 model. In full-fat S trim, the hot hatch will go from 0-60mph in under four seconds before carrying on to an electronically-limited 167mph top speed.
Despite the performance, Mercedes-AMG claims that the A45 models will return a respectable 34mpg and emit 189g/km CO2.
Mercedes-AMG has also fitted the A45 with a newly-developed four-wheel-drive system, as well as an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The former incorporates a torque control function which can vary the amount of drive sent to each individual wheel.
It allows, when in Drift mode, the majority of power to be sent to the rear wheels alone. At the same time the car’s stability control is deactivated and the gearbox is set to full manual mode.
Six separate driving modes are available in total; Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Slippery, Individual and Race.
Exterior-wise, the A45 features the Panamerican grille used on AMG’s most potent vehicles, as well as flared wheel arches and a tailgate-mounted spoiler.
Mercedes has also introduced the CLA45 – a saloon version of the hatchback. It too develops 415bhp in tip-top CLA45 S 4Matic+ specification, while a less powerful CLA45 version is available too.