It is supposed to straighten out the hierarchy in the sporty compact class, according to the terms of AMG in Affalterbach: The new Mercedes-AMG A 45, which comes to market in the summer of 2019 and boasts an output of considerably more than 400 hp. In terms of straight-line performance, it will not only outshine its immediate predecessor, but also the Audi RS3 and the BMW M2 Competition.

The 420 to 430 horsepower strong engine draws its power from 2 liters of displacement; the power is transmitted to all four wheels through a lightning-quick eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Even more important are lateral dynamics. Here, Mercedes-AMG has upped the ante: The rear axle can distribute the torque freely through a sophisticated system jointly developed with supplier Magna Powertrain. It ensures extreme agility and allows for controlled oversteer with unprecedented precision.

The system uses two electronically controlled clutches that can distribute the force between the two rear wheels in an instant. We were allowed to ride along in a prototype – and were convinced convince that in comparison with the regular “ESP Off” program, a drift can not only be more easily initiated, it is also much easier to maintain. In everyday use, this may not matter much, but on closed circuit it is a lot of fun. Roadholding at high speeds is improved by an optional aerodynamic package with “flics” and a remarkably big rear wing.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45

The combination of a high-performance engine and a sporty chassis elevates the next AMG A 45 to performance car status. The brutally responsive engine is clearly audible, driver and passengers sit in tightly upholstered seats with plenty of lateral support, and in front of the driver, there is the latest MBUX dashboard which offers an unusual variety of customization options. The production car will feature AMG-specific screens. Decor and seat trim are AMG-specific as well.

Incidentally, the sensational technology of the new A45 is not limited to this model: there will also be an AMG CLA 45 and the AMG GLA 45 crossover, but the latter is not expected to appear until 2020. And if you don’t quite want to take the leap from the regular 250 models to the AMG 45 models, there is the Mercedes AMG A35 as well as its upcoming sister models CLA 35, GLA 35 and GLB 35, powered by a 306-horsepower engine. That is an impressive achievement. But the hierarchy is now redefined with the AMG 45.

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