Mercedes AMG A45 S track test review: Fastest hatchback is tailor-made for speed
Mercedes-Benz India have been playing in the powerplay overs for some time now as far as performance vehicles are concerned. With the largest lineup of performance vehicles on offer in India, one would imaging that the Germans are content reaping the benefits of a niche yet significant market. But being content isn't something the brand is content with and has now officially launched the AMG A45 S, a hot hatch with some seriously spectacular performance credentials. It may be primarily directed at purists. It may also be aimed straight at a niche audience within a niche segment. But the Mercedes-Benz AMG A45 S is staking a major claim within the AMG lineup in India to be, perhaps, the most fun to burn rubber in.
A dynamite on four wheels may perhaps best describe the AMG A45 S but this performance hatchback has a roar, rather than a crackling burst, that signals its ultra powerful core - the most-powerful 2.0-litre, four cylinder engine ever! Such is the thunder that it would be blasphemous in automotive parley to sit in anywhere except firmly in the driver's seat. And while the car will highlight its drive credentials at the top of its resume, it also has a sporty style that underlines this here is a Mercedes, this here is a Mercedes AMG.
Mercedes AMG A45 S: Hot Wheels
The AMG A45 S completes the A-Class portfolio for Mercedes in India. And what a stylish way to complete the portfolio, might I add. A super imposing grille at the front, complete with the big Mercedes logo, dominates the front face of the vehicle. It has the familiar 12 slates that are found on several AMG models, complete with the LED Matrix head light units and DRLs. Large air intake valves complete the front profile with the promise of reducing drag.
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What claims to help the aerodynamic profile of the Mercedes AMG A45S best is its sleek profile best viewed from the side. A gently sloping bonnet, a layered A-pillar and curving roofline all appear serene and yet are specifically engineered to satiate the car's need for sheer speed. 19-inch AMG cross-spoke alloys add to visual appeal while also helping the car race ahead. And through the alloy design, the red-coloured AMG brake calipers shine through too.
The same stylish profile continues over and around the rear of this latest AMG as well. Angled LED tail lights and twin dual exhaust tips that announce the car's entry are what completes the AV profile of this hot hatch.
Mercedes AMG A45 S: Cockpit of thrills
Leave no room for any doubt that the driver's seat inside the Mercedes AMG A45 S has received careful, precise, tactical attention. So much so that all other seats - front passenger and the rear - appear plain conventional in comparison. And that's only fair because being anywhere but the driver's seat here may just be blasphemy in automotive parley.
Every touch, every sight, every little sensory detail is crafted to help the person at the wheels extract performance. Whether these are the AMG bucket seats done in Nappa leather - complete with yellow borders, or the large integrated infotainment screen that doubles up as a lap time-keeping companion or the massive driver's display - this car is as AMG as it gets. And while there is space for four plus luggage, would you really take out this bullet anywhere but the track? Doubtful.
Mercedes AMG A45S: Get Set. Blast!
Of course this is an AMG and so, of course it is put together to thrill. And yet, the Mercedes AMG A45S can be oh so deceiving. It's hatch proportions, its sporty profile, all hide the plain fact that this car right here can possibly challenge any of its siblings in the AMG family here in India. And while some may claim that it is a bit of an exaggeration, I would recommend a test run, Natrax if somehow possible.
Natrax is Asia's largest test track and the perfect playfield for the AMG A45s. Its high-speed section in particular is meant to showcase one thing and one thing alone - audacious engine power! And so it was, with a helmet on and seatbelt firmly in place, I gently tapped on the accelerator to get a move on. “Well hello there, electrics got nothing on you!," That is the hypnotic charm of the exhaust notes from this car.
Three laps of the high-speed circuit in the AMG A45S leaves you wanting for more, much more. And yet it is ample enough to underline the serious capability of this car. With the peddle floored, the power and the torque - 421 hp and 500 Nm, if you were wondering - is just terrifyingly delicious. From standstill to a 100 kmph takes just 3.9 seconds and while I didn't have a stopwatch to check the claim, I have not an iota of doubt that the AMG Speedshift DCT 8G transmission ticks with absolute precision to help max out performance credentials. The top speed of 270 kmph was stunningly effortless.
Fast and furious
In a world quickly moving towards electric mobility, AMG line of performance vehicles continue to awe and amaze as they always have.
Whichever side of the fence one may choose to view the AMG A45 S from - purists or green warriors, there is no debying that the fastest hatchback in the country will turn every head that manages to catch a glimpse of it before seeing it speed its way into the horizon.