‘Benz’ laws of physics
I’d prefer the gear shifter on the floor rather than the tree. SAFETY Five-star crash rating apart, the A45 is all about active safety. It is mightily competent even under levels of duress you won’t chart in civilian surrounds. DRIVING ‘‘You don’t have to brake for this,’’ scoffs my passenger. The A45, he asserts, ‘‘Benz the law of physics’’. That line would be lame if the littlest AMG didn’t so much take corners as dismiss them. If there’s not the engagement that you’ll have in a truly sorted rear-drive device (such as, yes, the 135i) I’ll swap that for the exhilaration of carrying so much pace through lowspeed bends with complete surety and safety.
On public roads I get nowhere near near the limit of this spectacular hatch’s mechanical grip.
Power down, even in launch mode, is stunning.
Not so much as a twitch through the front or the always communicative steering; power transfer takes some infinitesimal, imperceptible fraction of a second and 100km/h takes a claimed 4.6 seconds.
A track is of the essence if one is to climb over some sixth-tenths of the ability of this blazingly quick and capable device. We strongly suggest all AMG owners take the offer of professional lessons. The cheapest AMG by half is going to be the quickest by some way on interesting roads. Its compact competence ensures that.
If it out-dances its boofy V8 stablemates, the A45 can’t sing like them. Still, the assault rifle crackle of the exhaust in sport mode enlivens any domestic drive. Sport flays hopes of the claimed fuel figure, even as it rides as decently as could be expected from any focused five-door.
A caveat is the twinclutch auto. In drive it races up the ratios, in sport it holds on while overruling manual down shifts. The latter matters only a little with so much grunt so readily obtainable and its aptitude for intuiting your intentions. VERDICT Addictive and delightful, the A45 is a landmark.
The assault rifle crackle of the exhaust in sport mode enlivens any domestic drive