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Mercedes-AMG A45: flagship hot hatch will have 415bhp

Published: 10 June 2019

► New flagship hot hatch teased
► More than 400bhp promised
► Two models could be revealed

We’ve still not officially seen AMG’s A45 hot hatch, but Mercedes has at least revealed the engine that’ll be powering it. Capable of punching out 415bhp, it’s the most powerful blown 2.0-litre four-cylinder in series production, and like Affalterbach’s V8s, it’ll be hand-built, too.

‘We already set the benchmark in the segment with the preceding engine,’ said AMG chief Tobias Moers. 'This fundamentally new four-cylinder presented us with the challenge of doing even better. Not only is the output per litre unrivalled for a turbocharged engine, the high level of efficiency also demonstrates that the internal combustion engine still has further potential.’

As we know from leaked specs, the new A45 will come in two trims – a normal and an S model – but both will use variations of the new engine. While the range-topped S will come with 415bhp and 369lb ft, the ‘standard’ spec lump will push out 382bhp and 354lb ft. It’s just as well that the new A45 will drive all wheels, but also feature a ‘Drift mode.’

Interestingly though, the new A45 doesn’t use hybrid power. With the three-pointed star’s utter domination of the hybrid F1 era – and ever-growing power figures in hot hatches - you’d think it was an obvious decision.

The new 2020 Mercedes AMG A45: what we know

Mercedes offered an early Christmas present to hot-hatch fans with a new teaser trailer for its forthcoming fire-breathing AMG A45. In the festive-flavoured video, we see a camouflaged A45 with large wheel arches, a rear spoiler and four exhausts – all which help distinguish it from its smaller 302bhp A35 sibling.

Mercedes-AMG A45

Performance details leak

German insurance site HUK24 accidentally revealed performance specs of not one but two A45 models, and one of them is set to have over 400bhp.

Interestingly, this new leak suggest there’ll be two versions of the A45: a 415bhp S flagship, and a more tame 382bhp model. With a total of three versions of hot A-class – including the A35  – set to launch this year, AMG is offering more choice to consumers, but also leaves a clear path for its most extreme hatch yet:

To put these figures in some perspective, a Honda Civic Type R puts out a mere 316bhp from its four-cylinder turbo, while the outgoing Focus RS puts out 345bhp. Both of those cars will get a power increase next time around, but the A45 looks like another leap in the power stakes, and could blur the line between supercars and hot-hatches even more.

That should also mean a sub-4.0 second 0-62mph time, as well. 

Aside from the engine, it’s likely the A45 will use the same transmission as the A35 – although the effortless drifting in the teaser trailer also suggests the new A45 will have a Ford Focus RS style drift mode. It’s practically steering like a supermarket trolley around some of those cones!

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast