New 2022 Mercedes-AMG A 45 facelift spied winter testing

Published: 28 February 2022

► Updated A 45 hot hatch gets fresh face
► Minor tweaks to infotainment system
► On sale later in 2022

Mercedes is gearing up to launch a facelifted version of the AMG A 45. The supercar-killing hot hatchback was launched in 2019, just one year into the standard car’s production cycle – and it took the performance scene by storm, outpacing almost all of its competitors thanks to its stonking 415bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

Given the AMG A 45’s success, Mercedes won’t change the formula much for this updated model. Under the light camouflage on this spied prototype, we can make out a fresh pair of headlamps and some new tail lights – but that’s about it as far as the exterior is concerned.

Mercedes AMG A 45 vs BMW M135i

These spy shots show that the current car’s aggressive front bumper, motorsports-inspired diffuser and quad-exit exhaust system will all bee retained – and, although the enormous rear wing is missing from this prototype, Mercedes will almost certainly put it back before the car reaches production. We expect the spoiler was left off this test car to help it fly under the radar.

Facelifted Mercedes-AMG A 45 interior

Mercedes has also made a couple of tweaks to the interior. Our spy shots show that the current car’s infotainment trackpad in the centre console has been replaced by a storage tray, suggesting drivers will only be able to operate the screen on the updated AMG A 45 with touch inputs. The automatic gear selector has also been removed.

Facelifted Mercedes-AMG A 45: powertrain and performance

Hopefully, Mercedes has built up enough eco-karma with the launch of the pure-electric EQC SUV and EQS saloon that it can afford to retain the AMG A 45’s current states of tune. The fear is that the brand will need to lower the engine’s output and restrict its CO2 emissions to meet the goals it set as part of its latest electrification drive.

Currently, buyers have a choice of two variants. The standard model produces 382bhp and 354lb/ft of torque, while the range-topping S variant develops 415bhp and 369lb/ft of torque. Both send drive to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Facelifted Mercedes-AMG A 45 rear three quarter

The performance figures speak for themselves. The cheaper variant will rocket from 0–62mph in four seconds flat, while the A 45 S shaves an extra 0.1 seconds off that sprint. That makes it faster than every hot hatchback on sale, apart from the new Audi RS 3.

Even though the new Audi RS 3 has stolen AMG’s crown as king of the hot hatchbacks, it’s still worth noting that the 415bhp A 45 S can outpace Mercedes’s flagship performance car, the V8-engined AMG GT coupe, from 0–62mph by 0.1 seconds. That’s mightily impressive for a four-cylinder, five-seat hatchback.

Any other clever technology?

Certainly. More than you can shake a stick at, in fact. Currentlyt, both the standard model and the S get beefy brakes, adaptive dampers and an active exhaust system. The car’s infotainment system also has some AMG-specific displays – from which buyers can engage Drift Mode.

The driver assistance function fiddles with the car’s four-wheel drive system, sending more power to rear wheels and paring-back the car’s stability programme. The multi-disc clutches in the rear differential can also automatically direct power to each rear as needed, which AMG says makes it easier to hold a slide.

There’s a few more driver profiles to choose from, called Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race and Individual, with Race mode being a requirement to engage Drift Mode. The car’s stability programme also has four settings to play with – Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master – with each step upwards slackening off the level of assistance. All of these functions should be present on the updated AMG A 45.

What’ll happen to the price?

Mercedes hasn’t yet mentioned how much the facelifted AMG A 45 will cost, but we’re expecting a small increase. Currently, the range-topping S variant has a starting price of £50,570, but these updates (mixed with a healthy dash of marketing hype) could inflate that figure past £52,000. It’ll hit UK showrooms later in 2022.

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By Luke Wilkinson

Bauer Automotive staff writer. Unhealthy obsession with classic Minis and old Alfas. Impenetrable Cumbrian accent