The Mercedes AMG A45 S is known for being the most potent hatch back on the road but does it actually live up to its expectations? Well, we’ve had a chance to see whether these good impressions still apply on the British roads
The AMG team have extracted more power from its 2-litre engine than any other currently in production. Forget hot hatch, this is a super hatch that has been engineered for driving enthusiasts.
Our weekend drive took us through the highest road in the Lake District, Kirkstone Pass - 1,489ft high exactly - a mountain road which combines elements such as tight turns, narrow stretches, steep gradients and amongst all, harsh rain. The A45 S offers an unforgettable driving experience - grip levels and body control are remarkable, from the moment the tyres bite on turn-in to the moment you wind off steering input and fire off up the next straight. It responds in such a way that you can confidently pick apart a corner as soon as you’ve turned in. Comfort mode keeps the car in check very well – but if you want a more feelsome experience, the Sport+ setting is better for making the most of country roads.
The AMG DYNAMIC SELECT “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+”, “Individual” and “Race” drive programs are designed for high driving dynamics through modifying parameters such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP® and all-wheel drive. This results from an agile accelerator pedal characteristic with direct set-up and emotively appealing gear shifts with shorter shift times and double-clutching function on downshifts. The increased idle speed in "Sport+" also enables especially fast pull-away and acceleration from rest.
The AMG Performance 4Matic+ with AMG Torque Control enables motorsport-like performance. Two separately acting clutches on the rear axle allow fully variable torque distribution to each of the rear wheels exactly as required. This is particularly noticeable in this model when the "Drift" mode is selected.
Overall, the A45 S offers a complete and engaging driving experience personally suited to you and the road in front of you. With a capable All-Wheel-Drive system and the world's most powerful 4-cylinder engine, you can enjoy a big hit of performance almost anywhere. The ride quality isn’t bad either. Firm, for sure, but firm does’t mean uncomfortable! It’s nothing you wouldn’t expect of a car of this performance.
If you are looking for practicality but don't want to loose out on the thrill of a performance car, then the A45 S is the right car for you… And with winter around the corner, there has been no better time to switch to a 4Matic, to tackle the very worst of British weather.
Is the A45 S worth the hefty price tag?
Performance wise it ticks all the boxes. Spec wise the S comes fully loaded with a host of premium extras as standard, to make for an unforgettable driving experience. Equipment highlights include 19” Alloy Wheels, AMG Night Package, AMG Sports Steering Wheel, AMG Driver’s Package, Premium Plus Package, AMG-Tuned Suspension, Twin 10.3in Screens, MBUX Augmented Reality for Navigation, 64-Colour Advanced Interior Ambient Lighting, Wireless Phone Charging, Heated Front AMG Performance Seats, Mirror Package, Front and Rear Parking Sensors and Rear-View Camera.
If we compare it to its A35 sibling, we can see straight away that the A45 S exterior has undergone a sportier re-design. It gets Mercedes-AMG’s Panamericana grille from the range-topping GT and the Aerodynamic Package with a larger front splitter, flowing into flics at the air intakes, a fixed roof spoiler and flics on the front wheel arches all to increase downforce pressure. This improves ride characteristics at speed, enhancing lateral acceleration, driving stability and braking distance. The package is rounded off by specific side sill attachments that provide a striking, sporty look.
Our Score 9.5/10