Mercedes-AMG has followed up the recent reveal of its A45 hatch and saloon models with the launch of the Shooting Brake, a car which promises to combine the savage performance and newfound adjustability of its siblings with the practicality of a 505-litre boot. As you'll likely know, AMG's second-gen 45 series comes with a new 2.0-litre unit producing up to 421hp, meaning even this most family-friendly car can crack 62mph in just four seconds and hit a top speed of 168mph. Plenty of pace for a return run from the tip, then.
Those stats are for the more expensive S model (with the limiter-removing Driver's Pack), for which that headline power output applies. Like its less spacious siblings though, the 45 Shooting Brake is also available with a 387hp version of the four-pot. Still, it's the top model that has retaken the title of highest specific output for a production car engine - and makes most effective use of the 2.1-bar turbocharger and intricately designed exhaust manifold.
If you want the full technical lowdown on the tightly packaged, hand-assembled engine - about which there's a lot to say - AMG bragged about its innards and ultra-responsive characteristics earlier this year. Also carried over is the 45's new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive system, complete with a clutch-enabled drift mode (an option on the normal 45 and standard on the S). The latter makes "powersliding possible" according to AMG, which means the Shooting Brake ought to earn its Affalterbach stripes more readily than the previous-gen car.
Adding to that is the new 45's inclusion of a Race mode (standard on the S) that should make the sleek-looking Shooting Brake defy its roominess with ultra-sharp responses and a racy exhaust note. AMG has also given the new 45 models a wider breadth of damper settings, which can be altered via the six Drive Select modes, suggesting that the Shooting Brake might not be an overly firm prospect for a family wagon. We're looking forward to finding out.