The performance version of the new Mercedes A Class – which looks like it’s going to be the Mercedes A45 AMG – is gunning for the Audi RS3.
But Tobias Moers, AMG development boss, told Autocar that right from the start they wanted to make sure that the A Class AMG – which looks like it will be the A45 AMG and not the A25 AMG – was able to match the output of the 2.5 litre 5-pot in the Audi RS3.
The RS3 gets 335bhp and 332lb/ft of torque to make it fly and Mercedes are challenging that with 330bhp and ‘more than’ 295lb/ft of torque from the 2.0 litre four-pot turbo being developed by AMG’s high performce team in the UK.
A huge 330bhp from a modest 2.0 litre is quite an accomplishment and puts the new A45 AMG on a par with McLaren’s 3.8 litre V8 in the MP4-12C in terms of output per litre.
All that power will be driven to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch ‘box with a bias, under normal conditions, very much to the back wheels to give decent handling and, together with a seriously fettled suspension, allow the new A45 AMG to corner at higher speeds than its rivals and get to 62mph in around 5 seconds.
The Mercedes A45 AMG is expected to be officially revealed later this week and go on sale in the UK in early 2013 at around £35k, a chunk less than its target car the Audi RS3.