The next-gen Mercedes-AMG A45 has been snapped testing by our spy photographers, revealing that the company is hard at work preparing a new hot hatch to compete against Audi’s latest RS3 Sportback.
There has already been plenty of spy shots of the next-gen A-Class in its more sane guises, and the car’s new styling is still hidden away beneath substantial masking. The new headlights can be made out though, while the low, wide stance of this test mule hints at the power lurking underneath.
Mercedes is gearing up to trump its rivals by taking the hot AMG version of the next A-Class north of 400bhp. The existing AMG A45 has enjoyed its status as the world’s most powerful hot hatch ever since it first appeared in 2013. Its 2-litre four-cylinder turbo produced 360bhp at launch, although this figure has subsequently been boosted to 381bhp.
Yet that’s not going to stop AMG pushing even further with the hardcore version of the next A-Class which will follow the launch of the standard car in the second half of 2018. AMG boss Tobias Moers has revealed that his engineers have been given a “blank piece of paper” to develop an all-new engine with even more power, mainly because the existing motor is already pretty much at its limit. “Since the current A45’s facelift, we’ve been running with 381bhp,” Moers said. “For sure, the limiting factor is the heat management in the cylinder head, so we are not moving forward with that engine anymore.”
He continued, “We have started working on the next generation, and it’s a blank piece of paper for my engineers.” When asked whether the figure would be above 400bhp, Moers replied, “Yes, I think so.”
Moers also admitted that the most extreme version of the A-Class could leave space in the range for a slightly more modest AMG edition, in the same way as the V8-powered C 63 AMG has been joined by the V6 C 43.