Mercedes will launch its new A-class in spring 2012 and CAR can reveal a new go-faster hot hatch A-class in the pipeline to promote Daimler's radically different new small hatch.
The go-faster Mercedes is called A25 by insiders. It's one of a trio of hot hatches being planned by Daimler, which will introduce full-bore AMG versions to Merc's smallest cars for the first time.
Mercedes A25: the hot hatch A-class
Making a sporty A-class is no laughing matter this time round. Unlike the tall - and occasionally toppling - A-class of yore, the new one is a low-slung, more sporting hatchback aimed squarely at the VW Golf.
These pictures of the Concept A-class; give or take some of the wilder conceptual adornments, this is very close to what the new 2012 A-class will look like.
Its new MFA front-wheel drive architecture is being tuned by the gentlemen of AMG. Until now, only an AMG bodykit has been fitted to the A-class but Daimler is expanding the reach of its lucrative tuning division.
So how fast is the new Merc A25 AMG?
CAR understands the A25 will be powered by a brand-new 340bhp 2.0-litre twin-scroll turbo four-cylinder. That's a remarkably high output for an A-class sized car and will eclipse all other hot hatchbacks to date, such as the Focus RS and Golf R.
Keeping all that power in check is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a standard 4Matic four-wheel drive system employing a Haldex VC unit to stop you frying the front tyres.
A trio of go-faster Merc hot hatches
At the bottom end of the AMG line-up we will soon find three different crackerjacks: A25, the CLC25 coupe and GLC25 baby SUV.
It's not yet clear when the A25 AMG will be launched, but we'd expect it some time after the launch of the regular A-class.
The B25 AMG is being tested and evaluated, but it will not be signed off for production, sources say.