PRE FLIGHT BRIEFING I MERCEDES AMG A45 S 4MATIC★
▶ Why is it here?
With the A45, AMG has taken an A-Class hatch and turned it into an object of cult worship by fitting it with the world’s most powerful production fourcylinder turbocharged engine (up 40bhp on the previous model) as part of a no-holdsbarred eort to make every rival look tepid. It’s the premium performance hatch benchmark.
Any clever stu ?
The new rear axle dierential uses two multi-plate clutches, each connected to a drive shaft. This means that torque can be precision-metered to the rear wheels separately, as well as being variably distributed between front and rear, for better traction in both adverse conditions and during hard cornering. It also allows Drift mode to be included.
All the front-to-rear and sideto-side torque distribution is electo-mechanical rather than electro-hydraulic, which allows actuation of the clutches to be independent of engine speed and, Mercedes says, gives faster responses.
▶ Which version is this?
Only one A45 S is currently oered, the A45 S 4Matic★; we don’t get the 382bhp non-S in the UK. It’s priced from £57,885, and is equipped as a range-topper in terms of both performance and infotainment tech. There’s not much of substance left on the options list; a bit of Active Distance Assist leaves our test car just shy of £60k.
The CLA 45 is basically an A45 shooting brake, and is only slightly more expensive, although the dog/passengers/ shopping in your life may not thank you for getting this as a supposedly sensible choice, as it’s as fidgety and speedfocused as the hatch. There are also less powerful 35 versions of both, which cost less and are more comfortable all-rounders.