The Mercedes-AMG A45 has never been cheap, that’s for certain. Its maker had never attempted a proper hot hatch prior to the A45, which led to a swing-for-the-fences effort. The result was an all-wheel-drive super-hatch with an unprecedentedly powerful 2.0-litre turbo. It was not perfect, perhaps - but it was hugely better than the A-Class it was based on and eyeball-squashingly fast. The general public ate it up, regardless of the high price tag. In that regard, the latest version simply builds on what has gone before.
Still, £63,140 is a substantial figure - especially for a car which has not accumulated any additional horsepower since last we saw it. You still get 421hp and a similarly preposterous amount of torque, which means you still get a 3.9-second-to-62mph sprint time. Plenty quick enough, perhaps, but let’s not forget that for just £5k more, you could buy a Porsche 718 Cayman GTS with a 4.0-litre flat six and solid claim to being the best sports car available for any money. Alternatively, while we await a final price in the UK, the new Honda Civic Type R will probably save you £20k. Both offer food for thought.
Of course, the Mercedes-AMG faithful wouldn’t be wrong to stoutly reject either alternative. With the Audi RS3 very near the end, and BMW focusing its attention on coupe-shaped alternatives, the latest A45 could justly claim to sit atop its niche - especially with its styling refreshed and the new data-spewing AMG Track Pace app added to the latest infotainment system as standard. Not to mention a Mercedes-AMG performance steering wheel that adds rotating drive setting dials. Minor alterations, sure - but the car's customers haven’t been griping much about the fundamentals.
And if the asking price still seems inexcusably large to you, the manufacturer will happily show you to the more cost-effective alternative. You’ll likely recall the A35 has been updated, too, earning a new 48-volt auxiliary power supply and associated belt-driven starter generator that ought to make pull aways even more effortless. Granted, with ‘just’ 306hp from its own 2.0-litre petrol motor, it can’t claim to be the heavy-hitter the A45 is - but that’s why Mercedes-AMG charges £17k less for the pleasure of owning one. The hatchback starts at £45,930, or you can have the saloon from £46,050. All are available to order now.
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