We've driven the AMG A45 S both at home and abroad, finding it to be nothing short of extraordinary whether on Spain's flowing Jarama circuit or the sodden B-roads of Wales. You can understand our excitement, then, when we learned that sport auto's resident test driver, Christian Gebhardt, had introduced the extra-hot hatch to the perfect combination of both.
The extraction of 421hp and 369lb ft from its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine will have had something to do with the staggering 7:48:80 time it recorded at the Nordschleife. As will the 45's excellent chassis setup, fully-variable 4Matic+ system and snappy eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Pirelli P Zero Trofeo Rs which the car wore during the run shouldn't be overlooked, however, vital to the final result as they surely were.
As for what we can actually take away from the video, well, it's yet another example of Gebhardt's unflappable bravery and skill, as well as a demonstration of just how capable a performance hatchback can be. For reference, the time recorded here places the diminutive AMG ahead of not only supercars like the Lamborghini Murcielago and Aston Martin V12 Vantage S but, more meaningfully, rivals the BMW M2 Competition as well.
It's not all sunshine and rainbows for Mercedes, though. Keep an eye on the dash from 7:55 onwards to note the moment the car drops into neutral and displays a gearbox error message, a fault which sport auto reckons cost it a further 0.8 seconds overall. Plenty to digest and discuss, then, from the car's own ability to its lack thereof, and of course the role played by driver and tyre alike. Let us know what you make of the A45 S in the comments below.