The A45 AMG, which goes on sale in Europe soon after its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next month, won’t make it to the U.S., but its potent powertrain will, arriving on these shores in a similar CLA45 AMG due at the 2013 New York Auto Show.
Based on the latest version of the A Class hatchback, the A45 AMG adopts the Affalterbach tuner’s new four-cylinder engine, sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, and unique styling both inside and out.
The engine is the real star of the show; it’s a turbocharged and direct-injected unit capable of delivering 360 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, and is currently the most powerful production four-cylinder engine in the world.
At the same time, the engine also boasts impressive efficiency, returning fuel economy in the 30-mpg range based on the European combined cycle.
The engine runs a compression ratio of 8.6:1 and revs to 6,700 rpm. Peak torque is delivered from just 2,250 revs and stays there all the way to 5,000. Maximum boost pressure from the twin-scroll turbocharger is set at a relatively high 26 psi, which helps explain the high output.
Power is routed to all four wheels via AMG’s own all-wheel-drive system. The setup is different to Mercedes’ 4MATIC system for compact cars in that it is lighter and evenly splits torque 50:50 between the front and rear wheels. In normal driving situations, full torque goes to the front wheels only, helping reduce fuel consumption.
The variables influencing the power distribution ratio are vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, speed difference between the individual wheels, selected gear and accelerator position.
A two-part propeller shaft transfers the power from the engine to the rear axle. In the interests of favorable weight distribution, an electrohydraulically controlled multi-disc clutch is integrated with the rear axle differential. The multi-disc clutch immediately detects slip at the front axle, at which point a hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this takes place virtually without the driver noticing, according to AMG.
The gearbox is an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT, a seven-speed dual-clutch unit with an AMG gear selector mounted in the center console and paddle shifters. The gearbox has multiple modes as well as a launch control system.
The end result of all this tech is a 0-62 mph time of just 4.6 seconds and a limited top speed of 155 mph.
2013 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
There is also specifically tuned spring and damper settings, larger stabilizer bars, and speed-sensitive electronic steering. The stock wheels are 18-inch light alloys, which house ventilated and perforated discs measuring up to 13.7 inches in diameter.
Stepping inside, the first thing you’ll notice is the AMG gear knob, which is similar to the unit fitted on other AMG models including the SLS AMG supercar. Sports seats are standard and are joined by a carbon fiber-look for the dash, an AMG instrument panel and the AMG DRIVE UNIT, which is used to adjust all the individual performance settings.
Numerous options are also available, including an aerodynamics package, carbon fiber package, 19-inch alloy wheels, and performance upgrades to the exhaust, suspension and brakes.
With the A45 AMG now revealed, we can look forward to the reveal of the CLA45 AMG shortly and even a GLA45 AMG further down the track.