Mercedes-Benz has introduced a pair of more affordable Mercedes-AMG A-Class models.
The new Mercedes-AMG compact A 45 S 4MATIC+ hatch and CLA 45 S 4MATIC+ are both are now available at less than R1 million.
The German manufacturer says the 45 models have been completely redesigned – from the engine and transmission through the chassis, the drivetrain to the body structure and of course the design itself.
At the heart of each vehicle is a powerful turbocharged 2-litre, 4-cylinder engine with 310 kW and 500 Nm in each AMG S model. This results in a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 3.9 seconds for the A45 S 4MATIC+ hatch and 4.0 seconds for the CLA 45 S 4MATIC+.
The AMG brand is very popular in South Africa, with the country the third biggest market for the AMG brand in the world.
The 45 S range visual cues include an AMG-specific radiator grille, wider front wings with flared wheel arches to create space for the wider front axle, and a front apron featuring a “jet-wing” design. Wider AMG side skirts visually lower it, while the rear view is characterised by two pairs of round 90 mm-diameter tailpipes with internal fluting and AMG lettering.
The S-models come standard with 19-inch light alloy wheels in a 5-twin-spoke design - with a width of 8.5 inches for the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ and 9 inches for the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S 4MATIC+. The aluminium rims are shod with 245/35 R 19 and 255/35 R 19 (CLA 45 S) tyres respectively.
The bodyshell is reinforced and a lightweight aluminium plate bolted underneath the engine - the “shearing plate” - increases the torsional rigidity at the vehicle's front end. Diagonal struts at the front and rear of the underbody further improve rigidity. As a result the entire suspension system responds highly precisely and gives driver clearly defined feedback.
The new powerpack is produced on an innovative production line in Affalterbach, on the “One Man, One Engine” principle. The engine has intelligent design features such as a firewall-adjacent 2.1-bar twin-scroll turbo and exhaust manifold, two-stage piezo injectors, an electronically controlled wastegate, and multiple water pumps to cool the cylinder head and crankcase separately. The cylinder linings are coated in a patented Nanoslide mirror-like coating that comes directly from F1 engines.
The standard transmission is an eight-speed DCT dual clutch unit. All wheel drive is as standard.
Drivers can choose from six AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, Individual and RACE as a standard. This allows a wide spread of vehicle characteristics, from comfortable to dynamic.
With its sporty appointments and the MBUX infotainment system, the high-quality interior creates a close, personal connection between man and machine. MBUX creates an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.
The Mercedes-AMG A45 S 4MATIC+ will set you back R1 101 000 and the booted CLA 45 S 4MATIC+ costs R1 211 000 (pricing correct in August 2020).
Competitors include the BMW M2 and Audi S3.
And for those with slightly less money but still AMG fanatics, Merc also launched its new Mercedes-AMG 35 4MATIC range. It is as an attractive entry point into the AMG stable with a lot of the 45’s pure thorough bred DNA inserted into the 35 range.
Power is delivered from a tamer 2-litre engine but still with an incredible 225 kW mated to an AMG Speed shift DCT 7G dual clutch transmission. This is enough to get the boy races to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds for the hatch, 4.8 seconds for the sedan, and 4.9 seconds for the CLA 35. And like the 45, there are 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
The design of the new range draws from motor racing, adding characteristic AMG elements to the design idiom of the A-Class. The radiator grille with twin louvres, the AMG Line front apron with flics on the air intakes, a front splitter and silver chrome trims on the louvres in the outer air intakes are distinguishing features at the front.
The interior of the Mercedes-AMG 35 4MATIC range features a combination of sporty design and sophisticated details, including the MBUX multimedia system, with its innovative operating and display concept. MBUX replaces the previous COMAND systems, and creates an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.
The exhaust system features an automatically controlled exhaust flap as standard. Depending on the drive program selected, the sound is modulated from balanced to powerful.
Competitors also include the M2, Audi S3 in terms of price and some of the other top-end models in their respective ranges.
The prices are (August 2020):
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4MATIC Hatch (R841 000)
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4MATIC Sedan (R850 000)
Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC (R948 000)