► A45 AMG pumped up to 381bhp
► Modest power increases elsewhere
► Smartphone integration arrives
Mercedes has announced a power boost for the A45 AMG hot hatch from 355bhp to 381bhp, as part of a wider facelift for the A-class family. It comes just weeks after Audi showed the world its new 367bhp RS3.
Using the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as the previous model, the A45's power increase is a result of a newly configured valve assembly, adjustments to timing and turbocharging. It's not merely a turn-the-wick-up turbo boost; maximum boost pressure still stands at 1.8bar, Merc claims.
Is the new Merc A45 AMG faster then?
Oh yes. Performance figures released by Mercedes claim that the new 0-62mph sprint time takes 4.2sec, 0.4sec quicker than the previous model. Yet the extra brawn hasn't damaged economy, according to Mercedes-Benz, who cite a combined consumption of around 40mpg.
A new, optional Dynamic Plus package now offers a new mechanical front axle-locking differential to help tame all the extra torque, despite the standard fitment of four-wheel drive. This includes a Race mode for a digitally meted launch control.
What's new on the other facelifted A-classes?
The 2016 model year changes are extended to all models in the A-class family. The looks are barely touched, but there are tech and spec changes across the range, with the A220d and A250 AMG both benefiting from a 7bhp increase – up to 177bhp and 218bhp, respectively. The latter model benefits from a new manual transmission option for the first time.
And the size of that iPad-alike screen on Sport models and above has been increased by an inch, now stretching to 8in diagonally - this can be specced optionally on more humdrum models. The range has also benefited from the latest smartphone integration and 2016 A-classes can be equipped with the latest Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink to sync with your mobile.
The other new A-class range addition arriving in 2016 is the new motorsport edition. This mimics the design of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 design - with front grille, alloy wheels and rear valance all receiving a zingy green stripe, to live out your grand prix yearning on the cheap.
This will be available on the A220d models and upwards, but not the full-fat A45 AMG.