Mercedes-Benz A Sedan concept, 2017 Shanghai auto showEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz is working on its next-generation compact range and according to a report out of the United Kingdom the high-performance versions from Mercedes-AMG will offer at least 400 horsepower and eventually even hybrid technology.
AMG’s current compact range, which consists of the A45 hatchback, CLA45 sedan and GLA45 SUV, offers 375 hp. Based on information from its sources, Autocar is reporting that the successor models will have at least 400 hp.
The final figure will likely be higher to ensure AMG has the edge over Audi Sport whose latest RS 3 is delivering 400 hp. Yes, the power war is still very much alive among the German automakers.
The AMGs will draw their power from an uprated version of the tuner's existing 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4. Enhancements are thought to include new fuel injectors, a new turbocharger and changes to the combustion process.
Mercedes-Benz belt-driven starter generator (RSG)Enlarge Photo
For subsequent performance increases, AMG engineers are thought to be dabbling with hybrid technology, specifically the mild-hybrid system Mercedes plans to introduce for its next-generation inline-4 engines. The system features a 48-volt belt-driven starter generator that can aid the engine during high-load situations and recover energy at other times. The tuner is also said to be looking at electric compressors, similar to what Audi is already using on its SQ7 TDI.
Note, AMG is also reportedly looking at hybrid technology for a new ‘53’ series range based on larger Mercedes models.
Beyond the more potent powerplant, the new AMG compacts will also benefit from changes planned for Mercedes’ own next-generation compacts. The list includes a larger yet lighter structure, a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission, and more advanced electronic driver aids. All-wheel drive will remain standard.
One of the performance targets is a 0-60 mph time in under 4.0 seconds. Top speed will likely remain capped at 155 mph.
2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
The first of Mercedes’ next-generation compacts will be a new A-Class hatchback in 2018. The A45 hatchback should trail the regular hatch by about a year. Mercedes plans to add three more body styles to its compact range, bringing the total to eight. One of these will be an A-Class sedan, previewed by the A Sedan concept unveiled in April at the 2017 Shanghai auto show. Interestingly, the concept previews the new A-Class sedan in AMG flavor.
Other AMG compacts will include new versions of the CLA45, GLA45 and possibly a new, extra-rugged GLB45 SUV.
We hear there will also be tamer AMG compact cars along the lines of the ‘43’ series cars currently offered by the tuner. These are expected to come with around 275 hp and challenge the Volkswagen Golf GTIs and Ford Focus STs of the world.
Despite AMG looking on track to deliver close to 100,000 cars this year, it’s clear the tuner has no interest in slowing down. Let’s hope the brand manages to retain some exclusivity after the coming expansion of the range.