Home / Social media / Cars / Is the updated Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ the best hot hatch to date? It may just be...


Mercedes-Benz South Africa recently hosted the #AMGtourSA at the iconic KyalamiGrand Prix Circuit in Midrand, and part of the reason was to introduce a few new models, like the SL43 AMG we mentioned yesterday. The updated A-class cars were also revealed; the A35 4MATIC and the A45 S 4MATIC+, and we were also given the chance to sample these cars on the main circuit as well as the skidpan. It must be my experience in the aftermarket scene, but as good as the saloon variants are, it’s the hatchbacks that get me all flustered. As with any performance fan, the A 45S would be my choice over the A35, but that doesn’t mean the 35 isn’t a cracker of a car, because it is. It just means that as good as it is, the 45 S is the halo car. The A 35 is the entry to the AMG hatchback leagues, but it’s still a turbocharged 4-pot with 225 kW and 400 Nm of torque sent to all four corners of the car and will set you back over a million rand. It’s a fast car, it can do a sub-5 second 0-100 and is limited to 250 km/h. Quite honestly, if I never had the opportunity to drive one back to back with the updated  45 S, it would have taken up a spot in the top 3 hatchbacks I’ve personally driven. Instead, it moves to 4th position, and the A 45 S shifts to the top spot. I was lucky enough to have driven all the interactions of this car to date, mostly on track at silly speeds too, and so being able to hammer one around Kyalami allowed me to see and feel how the updates have affected the performance over the years. As you’d expect from an AMG-badged hatchback, every change to the car has improved handling, straight-line speed and available power. In this case, the tweaks to the turbocharged 2.0-litre powerplant have resulted in an almost unbelievable power output of 310 kW with 500 Nm making it the most powerful series-production 4-cylinder in the world. I mentioned the power figures to someone and how amazing it is in a hatchback, and I was reminded that the Audi RS3 has a matching 500 Nm, and a power output that’s quite close at 294 kW. It’s true, they’re close, but that Audi does have an extra cylinder in the mix, further emphasising just how powerful the A45 S is.

Mercedes-AMG calls the A45 S a hyper-hatch, and it makes sense because when all that power is sent to the wheels via a lightning-quick 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, and so the resulting performance figures are very impressive. From a standstill, the car gets to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds, and when you stretch its legs, it gets to a 270 km/h top speed. While straighline speed is properly impressive, it was taking the corners at Kyalami where things shined. I’ve been lucky enough to sample a variety of fast cars around Kyalami, and the A45 is now the fastest - at my own hands. It’s not just that it’s fast, it’s ridiculously easy to drive fast, and it could have been even faster if the convoy didn’t concertina at some corners. I was also driving the car in Sport+ mode letting the transmission do what it does best, but with the right drive and the car in Race mode and manual shifts on the paddles, this car will be an absolute weapon. This was evident at the recent Simola Hillclimb when a factory-fresh A45 S conquered the hill quicker than a friend’s highly modified 1st-gen A45. Granted, Clint Weston was at the wheel and he seems to come with an extra 50 kW in his right big toe, but still, that’s mighty impressive. From the main circuit, I headed to the Kyalami skidpan where I was able to further test the car’s handling on a soaked surface. I think someone forgot to tell the car that it’s meant to slip and slide on a skidpan, but the amount of control and grip just boggles the mind. Much fun was had. It’s a hard car to fault, it looks fantastic, it has an interior that’s the perfect combination of luxury and race and it’s packed with all the best available tech and driving aids that exist. The car leaves nothing wanting, besides wanting the car. This level of car doesn’t come cheap though, but that’s to be expected. The Mercedes-AMG A45 S 4MATIC+ starts at an eye-watering R1 257 457, and the car you see in the pics has the optional AMG Street Style Edition package that adds another R164 610 on top of that. The A45 S that we specced ourselves on the online configurator ended at a total of  R 1 617 567. 

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off just how fast the world's power powerful series-production turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder is when it's wrapped up in the stupidly fast updated Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+. We were lucky enough to sample the car at Kyalami during the #AMGtourSA event, and it handles bends and curves like it's possessed, now click through to see it stretch its legs on the famed German autobahn: 2023 Mercedes-Benz A45s AMG Facelift on Autobahn! | Moscarblog

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