New 2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 and A45 S prices and specs revealed

The all-wheel drive A45 is one of the most powerful hot hatchbacks money can buy - with up to 421hp, but it'll cost you up to £50,000

James Mills
Oct 18, 2019

If you like hatchbacks to be served hot, then the new Mercedes-AMG A45 is right up your street. The 2019 A45 and A45 S models are among the most powerful hot hatchbacks yet to turn a wheel and shred a low-profile tyre.

Two versions will be available, the standard A45, and the even more potent A45 S. Both feature a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, four-wheel drive and dual-clutch automatic gearbox, yet where the standard model has 387hp - already more than pretty much every other hatchback to date - the A45 S version boasts an enormous 421hp putting it at the top of the class for muscle.

Quick facts

  • Produces 387hp up to 421hp in S model
  • Four-second 0-62mph time
  • Prices estimated at around £41,000
  • Accelerates faster than a 991 Carrera S
  • Will release alongside CLA 45
  • Deliveries expected late 2019

The same engines will also be available in the CLA, the four-door coupe bodystyle. Prices for both the A45 hatchback and CLA45 four-door coupe are still to be announced, ahead of the car going on sale in Britain before the end of 2019, but you can read on for more details about it's engines, interior and technology.


2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 and CLA45 model range

The AMG versions of Mercedes’ smallest hatchback and four-door coupe are offered in standard and S specification, the latter being more powerful.

The Mercedes-AMG A45 is expected to cost more than £41,000 when it goes on sale at the end of the year. It boasts 387hp.

Those who want to rule the hatchback roost can spend more on the S. Expected to cost more than £50,000, these versions have 421hp, which is more than the muscular Audi RS3 (400hp), and considerably more than Honda’s Civic Type-R (320hp).

The CLA 45 and CLA 45 S are predicted to cost more than £46,000 and £52,000 respectively.

2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 and CLA45 engines

Fundamentally the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine will be used in all ‘45’ versions of AMG’s A and CLA models. And as with any AMG engine, each unit is assembled by an individual engine builder who adds their name on a plaque to the engine, during the car’s manufacture at Affalterbach, near Stuttgart.

Unlike most cars with this amount of power this is a small engine with only four cylinders, rather than the larger five-cylinder motor of the Audi RS3 or even bigger six-ylinder engine of the outgoing BMW M140i - both which have exciting, distinctive soundtracks due to their formats. On the other hand, we expect the A45 and CLA 45 to sound little different to the many other four-cylinder hot hatchbacks such as the Seat Leon Cupra, Honda Civic Type-R or Hyundai i30 N, which all produce a flat blare, compared with Audi and BMW's more dramatic sound.

The standard A45 engine offers 387hp at 6,500rpm, and 480Nm between 4,750 and 5,000rpm - meaning the engine produces most of its power at higher engine speeds. That makes the hatchback capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds, and the CLA coupe takes a smidge longer, at 4.1 seconds. Both have a top speed that’s electronically restricted to 155mph.

Upgrade to the S version and the engine offers 421hp at 6,750rpm and 500Nm between 5000 and 5250rpm. Impressively, this sees the 0-62mph time dip to 3.9 seconds, while the top speed is lifted to 168mph. Both engines rev to 7,200rpm - high for a modern engine, which should make them feel exciting to drive, with extra power released when you work the engine harder - something that isn't always the case with turbocharged motors.

Whichever version you choose, both are faster off the line than a Porsche 911 Carrera S, highlighting how AMG’s smallest models are formidably fast machines.

The fuel economy of the hatchbacks is 34mpg, the coupe is slightly better, at 34.8mpg. Emissions range from 185g/km of CO2 to 189g/km.

The engine drives a new eight-speed, dual-clutch ‘Speedshift’ automated gearbox, via Mercedes’ all-wheel drive system. A new feature for the 4Matic+ is a ‘drift’ function. First seen on the Ford Focus RS, this effectively gives another dimension to the car’s roadholding, allowing the driver to send more power to the rear wheels when the stability control systems are switched off and the Race driving mode is selected. For those who like to drive on track, this allows you to slide around corners in a cloud of smoke, should you so wish.

2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 and CLA45 interior

The second-generation A45 and CLA45 models illustrate how Mercedes-AMG has now firmly entered the digital age. The instruments are all digital, displayed on a bright panoramic-style 10.3-inch screen.

The display can be cycled between Classic, Sport and Supersport formats, depending on what sort of information the driver wants to view. Within the AMG menu, there’s a choice of seeing the gear display, engine and gearbox oil temperatures, settings for the AMG Dynamic Select system, G-force meter, a race timer or engine performance data.

Top-spec S versions come with an AMG Performance steering wheel as standard, and this allows the driver to adjust the AMG driving modes without having to take their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.

The steering wheel, seats and doors mix artificial leather and microfibre fabric with soft Nappa leather, while red-ringed air vents and red seat belts remind those onboard that this is an AMG model. Upgrading to the S version brings yellow highlights.

In the centre console, switches operate the three-stage stability control system, manual gearbox mode and adaptive damping suspension settings.

And if you like, it will be possible to talk with your AMG. By saying ‘Hey Mercedes’ the company claims the system is smart enough to understand almost everything about operating the media system and changing settings on the car.

Both bodyshapes offer seating for five people, while the hatchback’s boot carries 370 litres of luggage and the CLA manages 420 litres.

2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 and CLA45 technology

Mechanically, the hatchback A45 benefits from the same, wide front track of the CLA. The wheels are 18-inch items for the regular models, wearing chunky 245mm-wide tyres, while the S is upgraded to lower-profile 19-inch wheels with the same width rubber.

Behind the wheels are four-piston callipers for the regular model, and larger, six-piston items (to give more braking pressure) with the S - both of which should be able to effectively haul the cars down from the high speeds they're capable of. Extensive bracing of the car’s body structure has been carried out, to give the suspension a more robust platform to operate from.

For drivers who are serious about the business of driving a car, a new, virtual race engineer might make the A45 and CLA45 seem extra appealing. Called AMG Track Pace, it is standard on S models, optional on regular cars.

The system is said to be for use at a race circuit, where it monitors more than 80 inputs from the car during hot laps. Rather like playing Gran Turismo, lap and sector times are displayed, as well as the respective difference from a benchmark time, while green or red colour coding means the driver can see whether they are currently faster or slower than their best performance. Quite how many owners will use it during their daily commute is open to question.

Also standard is Distronic cruise control, which maintains a pre-set speed or adapts the vehicle’s speed according to traffic conditions - maintaining a safe distance behind the car in front - helping take the strain out of driving in congestion.

And for those moments when the road ahead is deserted, there’s Race Start to play with. It is designed to ensure the perfect standing-start, and is key to achieving the impressive 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds.

Meanwhile, for those moments when you just want to take it easy, the gearbox offers a coasting mode in everyday driving conditions and works in conjunction with engine's stop-start system.

The adaptive dampers offer three settings, ranging from comfortable to sporty to race-track stiff, while the steering system uses a variable ratio rack and the exhaust system changes sound according to the drive style selected.

2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 and CLA45 review

Mercedes-AMG is yet to allow media or customers to drive production versions of the all-new, A45 and CLA45, so stay tuned for BuyaCar’s review in due course.


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