Mercedes-Benz is working on a new generation of compact cars, and once again there will be a handful of hot offerings from the Mercedes-AMG division.
The latest spy shots and video show a prototype for AMG’s new A45 based on the next-gen A-Class hatchback. Compared to prototypes for the regular A-Class hatch, the A45 sits lower and sports widened fenders.
Also visible are AMG-style wheels, performance brakes, enlarged intakes in the front bumper, and quad-exhaust tips. You can also make out the vertical slats of the AMG-specific Panamericana grille. The finished product should look very sporty. The A Sedan concept from the 2017 Shanghai auto show hints at what's to come.
AMG’s current compact range, which consists of the A45 hatchback, CLA45 sedan and GLA45 SUV, comes with a top rating of 375 horsepower. The next-gen range will likely be rated higher to ensure the cars have the edge over their Audi Sport counterparts. Recall, the latest RS 3 is delivering 400 hp.
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. For subsequent performance increases, AMG engineers are thought to be dabbling with electric compressors and hybrid systems.
Beyond the more potent powerplant, the new AMG compacts will also benefit from changes planned for Mercedes’ own next-gen 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 for the AMGs.
Mercedes-Benz A Sedan concept, 2017 Shanghai auto showEnlarge Photo
One of the performance targets is a 0-60 mph time of under 4.0 seconds. Top speed will likely remain capped at 155 mph.
Other AMG compacts will include new versions of the CLA45 and GLA45, and possibly new GLB45 SUV and A45 sedan models. 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.
Look for the regular A-Class hatchback to debut early next year. The A45 version should trail it by 6-12 months.