By on February 13, 2013

Mercedes-Benz has finally released production photos of the A45 AMG – and while it couldn’t be more different than the rest of the rear-drive, V8 AMG lineup, it looks enticing in its own way.

Motivation comes from a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 360 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed DCT gearbox is enlisted to put power through all four wheels. 60 mph comes up in 4.6 seconds, and buyers will be able to choose from two different exhaust systems – hopefully it sounds like an even meaner Fiat 500 Abarth. If you squint really hard, this car seems like an AMG version of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Let’s hope Mercedes sees fit to grace us with a CLA45 AMG on these shores.

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28 Comments on “AMG Builds An STI...”

  • avatar

    The million dollar question is… Will it have the STI price?

  • avatar

    I remember when the last Impreza redesign came out, the tagline for the Subaru ads in Canada was “The car the Germans wish they had built.” Looks like they’ve built it now.

    The key question in my mind – will you be able to disable the traction control completely. It seems like quite a few luxury cars these days have non-defeatable TC – which defeats the purpose of a hoonmobile like this.

  • avatar
    Silent Ricochet

    “a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 360 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque.”

    How the… That’s pretty impressive. I’m not a huge fan of Hot Hatches, but they’ve been growing on me ever since I saw the article here about the Astra Hot Hatch speculating it might come to America in the near future. This is one I wouldn’t mind owning.

    • 0 avatar
      A Caving Ape

      Those numbers sound like what forum guys get when they bolt huge turbos to VW and Subaru turbo 4’s and then crank the boost. I’ll be interested to see what (if anything) they’ve done to minimize turbo lag and achieve some degree of reliability.

      • 0 avatar
        Silent Ricochet

        Exactly my thoughts. Super High Compression, aggressive cams (VVT most likely), Crazy boost pressure, etc, etc. I thought 260HP from a Cobalt SS Turbo was cool (or an SRT4), but 100hp more? Turbo lag would be a huge factor. Perhaps a small one that’s almost always spooled and a larger one for when you romp on the gas? I don’t know, I’m really grabbing at straws here. Either way it’s impressive but I want to see how it’s done before I say more.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s German. Drivability and lag will be utterly polished and predictable. Reliability, however, could be a different story.

  • avatar
    Charles T

    A high-output turbo 4, a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, and an AWD system. Which part breaks first?

  • avatar

    What I’m curious about is what sort of AWD system it’ll be. Are we talking about a Haldex-style FWD-until-you-slip system, or a predictable 50:50 system like a Subaru?

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a Haldex system, but I think it will have a RWD bias in the AMG A and CLA. The CLA 45 will be available in the US. The A I’m not sure about, but I would think so since we are getting the regular A.

      • 0 avatar
        Mirko Reinhardt

        You can not make these Haldex-style FWD-based systems rear biased, except in marketing-speak: “If the front wheels have no traction and the stability control brakes them, up to 95% of power goes to the rear wheels”

        Of course they all do that.

    • 0 avatar

      @ Wunsch:

      Go here for the info:

      Disappointing design with no center mechanical differential, and just a multiplate clutch in the back axle. So it’s nowhere near as sophisticated as an STI which has a mechanical center differential AND a multiplate clutch acting as a variable limited slip device on said differential. My ’08 Legacy GT has the same system but without the DCCI knob on the STI. It’s just set at the one default position.

      People forget that the best AWD systems are found on upmarket Subes. The only real competitors are on the better Audis and up to now the regular 4matic Mercs. All of these have a mechanical center differential. The rest are multiplate lashups with electronic doohickeys and sometimes overdrive to the outside rear wheel during cornering (Acura SH-AWD) or BMW. The best Audis have this as well as the sophisticated AWD. Also, the EVO is similar to the STI.

      Since 1993 when the first WRX had 276 hp from 2 liters, and the twin turbo Legacy had 280 or more, it’s taken 20 years for someone like Mercedes to boost the pressure enough to get to 360 horses. Since the new WRX engine is 290 hp with STI rumored at 330, I’m sure Subaru can easily keep up if needed.

  • avatar

    Looks very STi, but isn’t STi stick only? This sure isn’t stick.

    How much is maintenance and DCT repair/replacement?

  • avatar

    Heres my question, why buy a Mercedes AMG STI WRX over a genuine WRX?

    Oh, and Volvo wants that front snout back.

  • avatar

    Thanks but I’d much rather have the real STI for less money.

    • 0 avatar
      Silent Ricochet

      I wouldn’t buy an STI purely because of the image associated with it, and the smugness / douche bag mentality it implies. Almost every toolbag teenager in my area buys an STI and thinks they’re the best thing since Jesus because they have one. It absolutely destroyed my perception of STI drivers. I’d much rather an EVO, shame Mitsubishi won’t be around too much longer in America.

  • avatar

    To those asking about the engine’s longevity – as long as it blows up after the expiration of the CPO warranty, I don’t think Mercedes cares a bit.

  • avatar

    Okay, I’ve had my fill. I’m over this. I love a good hot hatch, but I’m done with all the performance variants stocked with branded parts (Brembo-this, Recaro-that) which are included just for street-cred and to stroke the egos of their posing owners. Few of these will ever see a track weekend –and if they did, would likely get dusted by an aging instructor in an E30/Miata/Spec Neon. Wake me up when someone makes a real CRX/206 GTi successor…without the fake performance decorations, please.

    God, I’m a cranky bastard.

    Edit: It has red seatbelts and blower vents?? This is supposed to be a Mercedes, not some teenagers’ clapped-out Civic. Ugh.

    • 0 avatar

      As a Miata owner, I would LOVE this for a daily. AWD, automatic, small enough to fit in a parking space but big enough to drive a couple of friends around and fit all my karting gear in the back. Oh hell, I’d love one. And I’m telling you, on a road course, this thing would absolutely dust one of those old low power but fun-to-drive cars.

  • avatar

    my dream car and as usual it’s not coming here, we will be graced by the presence of the freaky looking sedan version which would be fine if i was a rich sorority chick with no taste

  • avatar
    Spanish Inquisition

    Oh dear Derek, a press release is fine and everything, but you know what your readers want: The naughty bits.

    (I wonder if I can get seats like that to fit in my C-class. Stock seats have no bolsters for normal sized people.)

  • avatar

    Finally – the performance version of the Hyundai Elantra GT that I’ve been anxiously awaiting. For once it will live up to the “GT” in its name!

  • avatar

    So The Vapors were right all along…turning Japanese is the only road to success.

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