2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from AMG's compact range
We put this short clip together to answer that question the best way we can: with the actual sound.
First up is the A45 AMG, the Euro hot hatch that shares most of its underpinnings and powertrain with the U.S.-bound CLA45 AMG four-door coupe. It sounds very much like you'd expect: a healthy bit of induction noise, some good four-cylinder bass notes, a bit of whoosh, but not much blow-off noise. Oddly, there's a strange whistling seemingly coming from the A45 at times.
Next is the CLA45 AMG's soundtrack (set to footage of the CLA250, since the AMG version hasn't been publicly shown yet). Sans whistle, the sound is much the same. It's a better recording, sent to us straight from Mercedes, so the notes hit a bit harder and clearer.
But is it an AMG noise? Can the turbo four's growl stand side-by-side with the likes of the SLS AMG GT and E63 AMG? This isn't the first sub-eight-cylinder AMG car; a supercharged six-cylinder and an in-line five-cylinder diesel have also worn AMG badges.
To be honest, we're not sure if it matters--or if we care. With stats like the CLA45 AMG's (360 hp, 4.6 seconds to 60 mph, all-wheel drive, and under $50,000), the engine note might be a secondary concern. We'll have to see if the driving experience matches up to our expectations.