This is the most powerful hot hatch in the world. It has a retail price of just under AU$100k, but it offers the performance of some Porsches and even Ferraris and Lambos of not that long ago. How good is it?
It’s called the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S. Beneath the bonnet lurks a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder. Sounds pretty normal, right? Wrong. Instead of whizzing along with around 120kW like a conventional hatchback, this mutant little engine produces a record-breaking 310kW and 500Nm.
That’s more than some V8s that are still on the market today. Mercedes claims 0-100km/h takes just 3.9 seconds. Seems about right to us. However, the handling and the level of engagement this thing provides is what impresses us most.
Mercedes-AMG has not gone for a typical rock-hard suspension setup for this hypo hatch. Instead, the ride is quite forgiving for this style of vehicle. There is a good level of suspension travel too, which allows you to throw the weight around and have some fun. Even with all-wheel drive, you can feel the rear end wagging its hip.
Of course, being based on the A-Class, the A 45 S still holds up the practical tasks very well. The 370L boot is no different in size, the seats are comfy, and there is plenty of luxury and attention to detail to enjoy inside. We love the sophisticated climate vents which feel like they bathe in a pool of hydraulics, and the twin 10.25-inch screens that spear across the dash look very fancy indeed.
We will be putting together a full written review soon which will go over more of the interesting features and driving characteristics – including our famous 0-100 video. But before that, we’ve put together a 20-minute POV-style virtual test drive and review video for you. Check it out below.