New 2019 Mercedes-AMG A 45 S to cost from £50,570

The Mercedes-AMG A 45 S superhatch boasts a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine with 415bhp, and it's on sale in the UK now

The second-generation, 415bhp Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ is on sale in the UK now, priced from £50,570. First customers are due to take delivery in winter.

Mercedes-AMG’s latest A 45 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, offered in two states of tune. UK ‘S’ tuned cars produce 415bhp and 500Nm of torque, providing a claimed 0–62mph time of 3.9 seconds (0.1 seconds quicker than the V8 powered AMG GT Coupe) and an electronically limited top speed of 168mph.

• New Mercedes-AMG A 45 S review

European customers will be offered a less potent 382bhp model, with a 0–62mph time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Both engines send their power to Mercedes’s 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, operated by paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.

Standard equipment for the A 45 S 4MATIC+ includes 19-inch alloy wheels, an AMG-specific radiator grille, red brake calipers, faux-leather-and-suede-trimmed sports seats, an AMG sports steering wheel, a customisable ambient lighting system, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 10.25-inch digital instrument binnacle.

The range-topping A 45 S 4MATIC+ Plus model gets a host of extra safety equipment, including a blind spot monitoring system and traffic sign assist. Multibeam LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a premium Burmester surround sound system and electrically adjustable front seats with memory function are also added.

The A 45 S has a more aggressive body kit than its lesser-powered sibling, the A 35. It comes with Mercedes-AMG’s Aerodynamic package as standard and features flared wheel arches, a modified front splitter with canards, wider side skirts, larger exhaust tips and an enormous rear wing.

Mercedes-AMG has also strengthened the A 45 S’s body shell over the A 35, to cope with the engine’s extra power. Additions include extra bracing between the two front suspension struts, strengthening beams running through the car’s sides and rear quarters and a lightweight aluminium “shearing plate” bolted under the engine.

In stark contrast to convention, the turbocharger and exhaust manifold are mounted at the rear of the engine, with the intake system at the front. Mercedes claims this enables a more aerodynamic front end design and assists with cooling. New lightweight construction and low friction measures in the engine result in a redline of 7,200rpm.

While the engine stands as a core ingredient of the new A 45, its chassis, suspension and driveline have not been neglected in the pursuit of speed. Dive into the car’s many traction control settings and drive modes, and you’ll find Mercedes’s new drift mode; a standard fixture for the A 45 S.

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Drift mode is available when the A 45 S is in “Race” mode. It uses an electro-mechanical torque vectoring system on the rear axle to distribute torque between the left and right wheels which, along with a torque-splitting system for the front axle and a unique traction control system, enables controlled slides.

Mercedes’s ubiquitous MBUX infotainment system adopts a new role in the A 45 S, acting as a data logging and telematics system in addition to its usual navigation and entertainment functions. Maps for several of Europe’s top racing circuits come preloaded in the system and, by using the car’s front facing camera, it can project a live feed of the track onto the infotainment display, complete with the ideal racing line for each corner.

The AMG A 45 S rides on adaptive AMG-specific suspension, with MacPherson struts for the front axle and a multi-link setup for the rear. Stopping power is provided by a set of ventilated and perforated discs (measuring 360mm up front and 330mm at the rear), gripped by six- piston calipers.

Finally, Mercedes-AMG’s Dynamic Select switch hosts the usual drive mode settings of Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual and Race, with each serving up a unique combination of steering weight, throttle responsiveness, exhaust note and traction control assistance.

What do you make of the new Mercedes-AMG A 45 S? Let us know in the comments section below… 

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