The Mercedes-AMG A45 has played an integral role in pushing the performance limits of the hot hatch brigade, but the next-generation car will probably set the performance bar higher still. Our German spy photographers have snapped the first images of an A45 AMG prototype undergoing testing and they inspired our artist's impression of the newcomer (supplied exclusively to Cars.co.za by our Cape Town-based contributor).
Earlier this year, our spy photographers brought you images of the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class undergoing testing in Scandinavia, which is due to be revealed in 2018. The next A-Class and A45 AMG will be built on a revised MFA platform and will take design direction from the previously-revealed Concept A Sedan, which signalled the Sindelfingen-based company’s intent to introduce a sedan version to the new A-Class range that will slot in below the CLA.
The next-generation A-Class premium hatchback will be bigger than the current iteration. A longer wheelbase, together with a more square roofline, should offer improved space for rear passengers as well as better luggage/utility space.
As for the Mercedes-AMG A45 you see here, it will rival (and hope to dominate!) potent hot-hatch machinery such as the Audi RS3, Ford Focus RS and the BMW M2. Fitted with an updated 2.0-litre turbo engine, the next A45 AMG is expected to produce peak power of at least 300 kW and with no less than 500 Nm of torque. A dual-clutch, 9-speed automatic transmission in conjunction with revised 4Matic all-wheel drive will ensure rapid acceleration. A mild hybrid version with even more power is expected to be introduced at a later stage.
Besides the fact that it rides on a lowered sports suspension, these spy images show the A45 AMG test car sporting a wide hexagonal grille flanked by sleek headlights (derived from the Concept A Sedan). Larger air intakes in the front bumper are also evident. The taillight design is completely new too and extends to the boot lid, giving the car a wider, more imposing stance. Tailpipe cutouts are present, but the actual tailpipes you see here are by no means final.
The arrival of new A45 AMG will follow the reveal of the new A-Class premium hatchsometime in 2018, which means that local introduction of the next generation A45 AMG can realistically be expected in 2019. We will keep you in the loop as further information becomes available.