Based on the standard Mercedes-Benz A-Class introduced last year, the A45 S will arrive on UK shores in November boasting a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, four-wheel drive and an eight speed automatic transmission. With a 34 bhp advantage over its predecessor, the 415 bhp hatch will rampage to 62 mph in less than four seconds, while official fuel economy is 33.6 mpg.
All that comes included in the £50,570 starting price, along with a host of other standard features. The car is marked out by its 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, as well as an AMG-specific radiator, wider side skirt and two sets of round twin tailpipes. There’s a rear diffuser, too, plus red brake callipers and flared front wheel arches.
Inside, the A45 S comes with microfibre upholstery on the seats, along with an AMG Performance steering wheel, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Heated front seats are also standard features, as is the augmented reality navigation system, which displays a real-time view of the road ahead on the screen and overlays directions to help drivers find their way.
Other, more technical features include lower AMG suspension with adjustable settings allowing it to be set up for comfort or handling. There’s the AMG Dynamic Select driving mode system, too, which tweaks settings in the gearbox and steering systems to adjust the car for sportier or more comfort-focussed driving.
If you have a little more to spend, though, you can go for the ‘Plus’ model (pictured), which comes with some more aggressive visual and aerodynamic upgrades, plus a little more standard equipment. Upgrading buys you a modified front splitter, strakes on the bumper and an additional diffuser blade, as well as a bigger rear spoiler. A panoramic sunroof is also included, plus adaptive suspension, electrically adjustable leather seats with memory settings and a Burmeister surround sound system.
The A45 S is joined in the Mercedes range by the equally powerful CLA 45 S Coupe and CLA 45 S Shooting Brake (above), which use the same underpinnings but swap the hatchback bodywork with saloon and estate shapes instead. The two larger cars are about a tenth of a second slower to 62 mph, achieving the benchmark sprint in four seconds flat.
Both cars are more expensive, too, with similar equipment levels to the hatchback but higher price tags. The CLA 45 S Coupe starts at £52,145 while the Shooting Brake comes in at £53,570.