By on October 5, 2018

When details of the 2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 hatchback prematurely hit the web last month, it looked like the model was ready to give the Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3 a hard time. However, the 306 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque generated by its turbo 2.0-liter wouldn’t be enough to outright murder them on the open road. Fortunately, the leak included unconfirmed rumors that the A45 definitely could.

Following its debut at this Paris Motor Show this week, we learned that everything we already knew about the A35 turned out to be true, though the A45 remains draped in relative mystery. AMG lifted the veil just a bit, teasing out a few details on the upcoming model — emphasizing how terrible it will make the old A45 seem by comparison. 

“The 45, the next-generation 45 is an all-new story,” Tobias Moers, chairman of Mercedes-AMG’s management board, told CarAdvice in Paris. “It has a lot of improvements including the chassis, a brand new four-wheel drive system, there’s nothing common with what you know today,” he said.

Moers confirmed the rumor that the A45 will surpass 400 horsepower, adding that engine output isn’t even the most exciting aspect of the car.

“The chassis compared to today … it’s unbelievable. We have various suspension in the car and it’s an improvement in every perspective. There’s more comfort, more rigidity in every way, so we put a lot of effort into the body in white. There’s lots of reinforcement and it fits perfectly,” he elaborated. “Okay, you can go sideways with it.”

Outgoing A45’s have an all-wheel drive system capable of distributing up to 50 percent of the vehicle’s power to the rear axle (just like the new A35). But the new A45 is said to do far better, tapping into something akin to the drift mode found on the Mercedes-AMG E63 S.

“We have really cool features. Much more emotional,” Moers said. “We have a dedicated super sport kind of screen there that I personally put a lot of effort into designing. You have track pace and everything in the application.”

It’s basically going to be the A35, but with more of everything, including forward gears. The A45 will come from the factory with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the A35 receives a 7-speed DTC. If you’re wondering how fast it’ll be, Mercedes’ official stats for the “lesser” A-Series AMG put it at 4.7 seconds from 0-62 mph with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph — so, significantly quicker than that. We’re guessing Daimler won’t bring out anything that couldn’t reach acceptable highway speeds in under 4 seconds.

We still don’t know whether or not the A45 will make its way to the U.S. market, but the A35 will get here once Mercedes rejiggers it into a sedan. We’ll give you a comprehensive rundown on it when the time comes.

[Images: Daimler]

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35 Comments on “Mercedes-AMG Confirms A45 Will Be a True Rocket, Leaks Details on A35...”


  • avatar
    NoID

    I wonder how this “drift mode” functions. It can’t be like the system on its E63 sibling, because a traditional “active” 4WD/AWD setups have a primary drive axle and a secondary drive axle, with the secondary drive axle essentially siphoning available torque from the primary drive axle by way of a clutch (or in a passive permanent-split system, sharing equally through a center differential.)

    On the E63 AMG it’s as simple as opening the clutch to the front drive axle. On something with this architecture it would be more difficult, so if the A45 AMG can send torque only to the rear axle, I’m interested in how this is accomplished.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Why isn’t any American car company (Lincoln, Cadillac?) building a performance AWD hatch? They’re finally building mini-crossovers, why not one with some guts?

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      For the same reason that Audi, Acura, Lexus, Infinity or any other luxury car manufacturer is. No one will buy them here, except for a couple hundred folks who keep complaining about it.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        All they need to do is jack it up a couple of inches and call it a crossover, then it will sell, but I really was talking about the performance aspect

        • 0 avatar
          NoID

          They already make that.

          https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/12/2018-mercedes-amg-gla-45-review-a-manic-german/

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Yes, the Germans do, but why not the Americans? It’s a bit of a niche, but with the popularity of mini-crossovers a performance version doesn’t seem like a stretch. Cadillac should offer a performance option to it’s new XT4. Maybe even call it a XT4v

          • 0 avatar
            NoID

            The GLA-45 AMG is sold in the USA.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Cadillac didn’t do a V-series crossover, but Lincoln isn’t as focused on performance. Yes, they offer a 400 hp engine in the Continental and MKZ, but its just supposed to be a nice luxury car with a lot of power, not something to give BMW M or Mercedes-Benz AMG designers/engineers something to keep them up at night. Cadillac has been chasing that rabbit down a hole for quite a while, and as good as the V-series cars are, they still sell more Escapades and XTSs than anything else.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            *damn autocorrect, obviously I meant “Escalades”.

      • 0 avatar
        camshaft

        Meanwhile, Subaru who is killing it on every other angle has dropped their STi hatchback…

    • 0 avatar
      SuperCarEnthusiast

      American manufacturers are still in the “muscle car” era of the 1960s. It has to be a coupe and RWD only to have high performance. Only Jeep has broken off on this trend with their Grand Cherokee Hellcats that have AWD and Dodge Durango Hellcat with AWD. But for Ford and GM, high performance is tending into pickup trucks with 4X4,

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        So that’s why there is a Ford Edge ST and (for now) Fusion Sport with a twin turbo V-6, Focus RS, and Focus/Fiesta ST. All 1960s-like RWD muscle cars, huh?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          JohnTaurus, you’ve really been posting up a flurry of comments!

          You’re on a righteous roll!!!

          #CommentStorm

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          > So that’s why there is a Ford Edge ST and (for now) Fusion Sport with a twin turbo V-6, Focus RS, and Focus/Fiesta ST. All 1960s-like RWD muscle cars, huh?

          Yep. All soon to become extinct in favor of crossovers.

  • avatar
    W210Driver

    It’s too bad that we won’t get the hatchback, because I love the look of this thing.

    On the other hand, I am not really feeling the sedan. I mean it looks good, but the hatchback has an edginess and youth-feel to it that’s missing from the sedan. Am I wrong to believe that Daimler might be able to attract more sporty-minded younger buyers with the hatch rather than the sedan? You know, a nice gift from mom and dad to junior…

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Seriously … We don’t get the hatch why? Or the A45 why? Does every Mercedes need to be kinda boring? Or a SUV?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Because Americans associate a hatchback with a cheap, boring, undesirable car. Europeans see them as more practical and not limited to small underpowered commuter penalty boxes. Different culture, different tastes.

      Note: I didn’t say *every* American feels this way. Also, although the CUV craze isn’t limited to our market (as some would have you believe), they’re able to be hatchbacks but are associated with tough trucks and off-roaders rather than the terrible cars you were forced to drive in high school and college until you could afford a “real” car.

      • 0 avatar
        Matzel

        Traditionally, kids don’t like the type of cars their parents drove. Buick and Lincoln could attest to that… So while CUVs / SUVs are all the rage right now, there’s a good chance that the teenagers of today will not be buying mom’s cars when they pony up for their first/second/third set of wheels. Sedans and hatches may come back in the future… For purposes of full disclosure: Born and raised in Europe, I prefer most hatches over their sedan siblings; have a distant love affair with proper shooting brakes, drive a wagon, …

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    That’s going to be what, Charger 392 money? And Americans are supposed to be excited about this instead? No, it’s the other way ’round, Europeans wish they were allowed to buy Charger 392s. No wait, they don’t even dare to dream about such things (their tariff and non-tariff barriers see to that): cars with enough space, a proper RWD architecture and a proper engine.

    Small turbo engines are a (European manufacturers’) scam. My new 1.5 liter 3-cylinder engine’d car is consuming 50% more fuel than my previous 2.0 NA 4-cylinder cars. And about 15-25% more than the 3-liter NA 6 cylinder! And those were engines of previous generation technology, so if they were updated as NA engines with the newest tech and those cars would’ve had all the other economical stuff like a bit less weight, a super-economical ZF 8-speed automatic and all the other drivetrain optimisation they would have been even more economical.

    I knew it. Already in the early days of VW 1.8T engines my friends and I compared those to my 2.2 6-cylinder NA engine and also 2.0 NA 4-pot Valvetronic BMWs we kept getting consumption figures which were equal at best and usually even worse for the ‘downsized’ engines. (All above numbers are for driving that is not the lightest possible, and at most 20% highway)

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Part of what you’re missing is that cars are extremely heavy today compared to yesterday. Remember when the CRX-HF could get a legit 50mpg?

      The small turbo engines aren’t a scam at all. I’m getting 36mpg on the road on my GTI, 30 in the city. Or 24 if I put my foot into it. It’s my choice.

      But the weight of the car isn’t my choice. It’s regulations that force that.

      Your old 6 cylinder engines would suffer bad gas mileage in the same modern day platforms.

      • 0 avatar
        NoID

        You also have to consider that fuel economy and emissions are not equivalent terms. Yes, the OEMs are being pushed to provide better MPG figures for their vehicles, but also are being pushed to reduce the carbon emissions of their engines. So even if your newer car (allegedly) gets equivalent MPG to your older car, I (almost) guarantee it has lower greenhouse gas emissions.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are equivalent.

          Other emissions don’t matter nowadays, since they’re so low already. Well, in diesels and small turbocharged engines especially the particulates play a role, but aren’t really anything differing between the engines in above comparisons. They affect all engines, and can also be dealt with (expensively). Or just don’t live in idiotic overcrowded cities…

          Your logic is also completely lacking: I’m comparing NA to small turbo engines, not old vs. new. That skews the point in MY favour! Today’s ‘downsized’ small turbo engines should be compared to naturally aspirated engines that are as new for it to be fair. But there aren’t many NA engines anymore. Mazda still makes them and shows that they are much better than small turbo engines, only in emissions/consumption testing cycles were they are driven unrealistically lightly they seem worse. In real life or in any kind of testing that requires even moderate strain on the engine (which wakes up the turbos in the downsized engines) you immediately see how much gasoline they spew into those turbo engines while on load.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        No, they’re not heavier but the opposite: they’re the same weight or lighter. My comparison is between the heavier cabrio version of the older model 1-series and the hatchback 1-series new model. Also the 6-pot was a heavier 3-series sedan.

        You’re only getting ok mileage from your VW because you’re driving very lightly, and not comparing it to a modern somewhat larger NA engine. Those don’t exist anymore, so it’s pretty impossible to compare. Well, just look at how low real-world consumption of Mazda’s NA engines is to understand. Especially when not driven completely unrealistically lightly like in emissions/consumption testing cycles.

        For car guys especially, those who don’t meander around and take forever to accelerate from the stoplights larger NA engines use a lot less fuel. A good comparison is the Mazda MX-5 vs. Fiat 124 Spider. In the real world, especially when driving spiritedly or ‘normal-brisk’ in an urban environment the Mazda’s 2.0 NA uses SO MUCH LESS fuel than the 1.4 turbo of the Fiat that it’s ridiculous.

        6-cylinder NA engines didn’t have bad gas mileage then and wouldn’t have bad gas mileage now. I already told you of our real-world comparisons, and even the measurements of (German) magazines back when ‘downsized’ engines started to become a thing and there were at the time modern NA 6-pots to compare them to. The extra friction losses are pretty insignificant, and that’s all the downsides. They have no more pumping losses, their thermal efficiency is excellent, and they don’t need extra fuel for cooling or imprecise operation due to boost control difficulty and turbo lag.

    • 0 avatar
      Matzel

      * (high) cost of fuel might prohibit ownership of 392 Charger in Western Europe/Scandinavia;
      * rear wheel drive might be cool in Southern climates – not so much in the Northern hemisphere;
      * parking in medieval downtown cores is different than the over-sized stalls in Costco parking lots;

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        *The cost of fuel is just as high no matter which you’re putting it into: a Mercedes 45AMG or a Dodge 392…

        *Rear wheel drive is absolutely great in the Northern hemisphere. Only some people I know buy AWD due to the long winters, most can’t wait for the fun in their RWD cars! And everyone has gotten to their destinations more than well with any drive line type, that’s simply not an issue since the roads are always in good condition and it’s just a nice thing to have an inch of powder snow to play on. You won’t get much more than that and even that is just for moments, since the snow clearing is so effective.

        The main reason people get SUVs with AWD is if they live in the very center of the one or two large cities in the country and the city is in charge of snow clearing which means it sucks for parking places on purpose due to extreme socialists who hate cars being in charge. Therefore they need those SUVs to climb onto the iced-up snow piles which are called parking places.

        *Europe isn’t a country, and even if it was the differences all around the whole of Europe is huge. Chargers fit just fine, how else do you think Europeans manage with their big cars? My relatives all over Europe have different kinds of cars like: S-Class Mercedes, Huge GL-Merc SUVs, my cousin has a VW Transporter as a grocery getter… The infrastucture can definitely take a Mercedes S-Class and a VW Transporter with ease.

        • 0 avatar
          Matzel

          The cost of fuel (per litre/gallon) varies greatly from US to say Germany or Norway. https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/gasoline_prices/

          There is no argument against the fact that a vehicle with a 1.3l petrol engine (A200) rated at 5.7l / 100km is *more economical* than a 392 Charger. The vehicles are, of course very different and will rarely be cross shopped.

          As an aside: In Germany (and some other Euro countries) the taxation and insurance rates are based on engine displacement and engine power. Larger & more powerful = more expensive.

          The fact that some people opt for large(r) vehicles like SUVs and large sedans does not disprove my point about smaller inner cities, higher density population and the desire for practicality. There are *a lot* less larger and *a lot* more small vehicles on Europe’s streets than North America. It’s a fact, not a matter of opinion.

          I live in Eastern Canada. I used to own a Chrysler 300 with RWD for over five years. RWD fun?! BULL! It’s limited fun being unable to make it up inclines on studded winter tires. Total junk for our winters.

  • avatar
    Alex S

    Currently hot hatchbacks are the best driving cars in the market.
    As they get bigger, more luxurious, more powerful or even electric they wil start to gain popularity in the US as long as you call them high performance crossover.

  • avatar
    ernest

    Oh goodie- another chance to buy a Civic-sized hatchback for 1.5-2x what I paid for the Charger. No.

    • 0 avatar
      Matzel

      The Charger is yesteryear’s tech. The new A-Class is cutting edge and Mercedes Benz is no Dodge. To each their own, but the difference in price is logical if you compare the two.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        You’re going to have to do better than that. You can’t just make wild claims like ‘A-Class is cutting edge’ and ‘Charger is yesteryear’s tech’. You’re going to have to tell us exactly why you are making those preposterous claims, and on what exact basis.

        • 0 avatar
          Matzel

          The Charger (like the 300/Magnum/Challenger), built on the rear-wheel drive Chrysler LX/LD platform, is rich with components derived from the W211 Mercedes-Benz E-Class of 2003 to 2009.. Shared components include the rear suspension design, front seat frames, wiring harnesses, steering column, and a derivative of the 4Matic all-wheel drive system. It’s solid but aged.

          The safety tech and MBUX in the new A-Class is cutting edge.

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