Strapped for cash but don’t want to let go of your Mercedes-Benz dream? Then you would be glad to know that the Mercedes A45 AMG – its most affordable performance model yet – will go on sale in early 2013. The first series production AMG model will be competing with the Audi RS3 and BMW M135i. This hatchback is positioned at the top of the new third-generation A-class range. No confirmation has been given for its pricing yet but it’s likely to cost from about £32,000 in the UK. It has a transversely mounted engine and it uses a heavily tuned version of Mercedes-Benz’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit that’s used in the standard A250 Sport, which will go on sale in the UK by the end of this year.
It features a specially built free flow cylinder head and unique induction system as well as a series of other revisions that boost its power. It’s believed that the M270 Evo designated unit will offer 330bhp and have a maximum torque that’s considerably higher than 295lb ft. The new engine, which is made in partnership with the brand’s High Performance Engine offshoot located in Brixworth, England, is the most potent four-cylinder ever used in a Mercedes production model.
Tobias Moers, the chief of development at AMG, said that its intention from the beginning was to “match the output of the larger turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine used by the RS3.” In comparison, the RS3’s EA255 engine offers 335bhp and 332lb ft torque. Meanwhile, the M135i, which is powered by an uprated version of BMW’s N55 turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit, delivers 316bhp and the same 332lb ft. Autocar reported previously that the A45 AMG uses a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox within a layout that reflects that of the RS3, a specially tuned Haldex-style multi-plate clutch to all four wheels. So that the new car will offer the handling capabilities of a rear-wheel drive AMG, the engine’s torque is mainly sent to the rear wheels under load.