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The Hottest Small Car We May Not Get

Mercedes pulls the wraps off A45 AMG.

by on Mar.08, 2013

No plans for the US - for now, anyway - the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG at its Geneva debut.

Take a close look.  Breathe deeply, then sigh.  Finally, start sending out those e-mails.  A deposit check might help, too.

For now, it seems, Mercedes-Benz has no plans to bring over its sporty new small car, the A-Class, including the high-performance version, the Mercedes A45 AMG that is drawing crowds at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Too bad.  The pint-sized luxury model is the latest incarnation of the Mercedes A-Class and a major shift in direction from the previous generation, abandoning the ungainly tall wagon approach for this more elegant shape that might almost be called a coupe-like wagon.

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Several more mainstream versions of the new A-Class recently went on sale in Europe, both gas and diesel powered. But the big news in Geneva was the unveiling of the AMG edition.  This is the luxury equivalent of the hot hatch.

The turbo 2.0-liter inline-four in the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG blasts out 355horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque and the German maker claims that’s enough to launch it from 0 to 60 in a mere 4.5 seconds.  That’s the sort of territory you used to have to opt for a serious sports car to deliver.

To get there, the folks at AMG have pulled off a few minor miracles, doubling the boost of the base A-Class turbo, for example, to an astounding 26 psi. They’ve also used special cylinder liner coatings, new connecting rods, forged pistons and a sand-cast aluminum block, among other things.

The A45 can ensure all that power gets through to the pavement, incidentally, through an optional all-wheel-drive system. It retains the stock A-Class 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, though the gear ratios have been modified slightly.

Mercedes claims the A45 AMG is the most powerful “series production” four-cylinder model in the world.

But for those who want just a little bit more, there’s even the A45 AMG Edition 1, which adds such niceties as quad exhaust pipes.

If you’re thinking about tracking the local gray market importer, hang tight. While the regular Mercedes-Benz A-Class won’t be coming to the States, the maker has decided to offer the CLA, a coupe-like sedan based on the same platform. We offered a closer look in January. (Click Hereif you missed it.)

Better yet, a handful of journalists got a sneak peek in Geneva at the CLA45 AMG.  The formal introduction is scheduled for the New York Auto Show later this month.  So, you might still want to write those e-mails, but hang onto your deposit check as you may like the alternative when you see it.

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2 Responses to “The Hottest Small Car We May Not Get”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    They styling leaves a lot to be desired but the performance looks like fun.

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      From a European perspective, I think it’s a good looking car. We’ll get the CLA spin-off, probably a good choice if we could only have one version in the U.S.

      Paul A. Eisenstein
      Publisher, TheDetroitBureau.com