gi­ant-slay­ing hatch­back

Australian T3 - - TECH LIFE -

This is the hottest of hot hatches, forged in fire with a two-litre en­gine that’s able to hold its own against tricked out su­per­cars. Elec­tric ve­hi­cles might be the fu­ture, but the petrol-guz­zling Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is very much the now…

A hot hatch­back with a 2.0-litre en­gine? You’ll find one in most city cen­tre car parks on a Fri­day night, flaunt­ing some tat­too de­cals, it’s hardly wor­thy of note. This is no nor­mal mini mus­cle car, though: 265kW, zero to 100km/h in 4.6 sec­onds, all-wheel drive and a Mercedes-Benz badge on the bon­net. You’d bet­ter buckle up be­cause the new A45 AMG is un­like any hot hatch you’ve ever seen.

On the road, the com­bi­na­tion of over 260kW, all-wheel-drive han­dling and a pad­dle-shift gear­box in a com­pact, five-door pack­age is dev­as­tat­ingly ef­fec­tive. The A45 AMG fizzes with po­ten­tial; it’s ac­tu­ally more fun than BMW’s rear-drive M135i.

This minia­ture pow­er­house is the prod­uct of a per­for­mance car in­dus­try in rude health. It’s taken all the tricks cooked up by the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of eco-friendly mo­tors and mixed them into a bona fide bad boy that can take on su­per­cars with­out cost­ing you the Earth in fuel bills. Hy­brid ve­hi­cles have pi­o­neered get­ting as much grunt out of a very small en­gine as pos­si­ble, but Mercedes has ap­plied that same think­ing to a healthy 2.0-litre en­gine. The re­sult is a com­bined kilo­me­tres per litre of 17 on the cruise.

We’ve touched on the men­tal­ist turbo en­gine, the four-wheel drive and

the a45 amg is a con­densed, five­door in­jec­tion of pure adrenalin

robo‑con­trolled seven-speed gear­box, but that’s just the go-faster kit. Brace yourself for a bar­rage of ac­tively con­trolled A-Class safety ex­tras, too. There’s At­ten­tion As­sist to make sure you stay alert at the wheel, Col­li­sion Preven­tion As­sist, Lane-Keep­ing As­sist, Distronic Cruise Con­trol, a blind spot warn­ing sys­tem and even head­lights that peer around cor­ners for you. A rear cam­era and an ac­tive park-as­sist fea­ture also take the stress out of swing­ing into tight spots. The tech continues in­side, with the lat­est Mercedes CO­MAND sys­tem con­trolled via the sev­eninch touch­screen and your iPhone.

“Hot hatch as su­per­car killer” is one of those clichés that sounds catchy but doesn’t gen­er­ally hold up in the real world. Un­til now. Be­lieve us when we say that only the very lat­est and great­est su­per­cars could keep up with this most men­tal of ur­ban runarounds. It’s a heav­ily con­densed in­jec­tion of pure adrenalin in a mo­tor­ing world turn­ing green and well be­haved. We wel­come it. from $74,900, mercedes-benz.com.au

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