Edric grapples with German model-numbering conventions.
OONCE upon a time, the premium German carmakers badged their models according to engine capacity. A Mercedes E280, for instance, was an E-Class with a 2.8-litre engine, and a BMW 318i was a 1.8-litre 3 Series. Nice and logical. Then for some reason around the mid-1990s, the Germans decided to base the model number on a “deemed” engine capacity pegged to the car’s output, rather than the actual engine capacity.
The first instance I can recall of this practice was the 1995 E39 BMW 523i, which despite its name, had a 2.5-litre straight-6, not a 2.3-litre. BMW, perhaps out of embarrassment at the slightly underwhelming 170bhp of their ultimate driving machine, had opted to “downbadge” it. At that time, no other BMW models were similarly afflicted – a 520i was still a 2-litre, a 728i was still a 2.8-litre and so on.
MercedesAMG A45 is an “upbadged” 2-litre 4-pot, albeit one with 381bhp.