New 355HP Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG Bows at the Geneva Motor Show [w/Video]

Mercedes-Benz is not exactly renowned for its hot hatches; in fact, it has been absent from this segment since… well, forever. Now that the third-gen A-Class is a proper B-Segment hatchback instead of a mini MPV like its predecessors, the three-pointed star decided it wanted to play. Actually, dominate would be a more appropriate word. The A 45 AMG that made its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show today is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder that, despite having a capacity of just 1,991 cc, boasts a Porsche (never mind VW, Ford and the other GTis) scaring 355HP (360PS) and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft). The A 45 AMG is fitted with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch seven-speed transmission, the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and a three-stage ESP. It accelerates from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 4.6 seconds and reaches an electronically restricted top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). “With the new A 45 AMG we have well and truly achieved our aim of developing the most dynamic, powerful and efficient four-cylinder series production car”, said Tobias Moers, Head of Overall Vehicle Development and Board Member of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “With its impressive high-tech package and the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the A 45 AMG is a thoroughbred AMG through and through.” According to the company, the A 45 AMG leads the pack in efficiency, too, as it posts an average consumption of 6.9 lt/100 km (34.1 mpg US) and emits 161-165 g of CO2/km, complying with the EU6 emission standards that will come into effect in 2015. Mercedes-Benz announced that the release date for the A 45 AMG will be April 8 and its market launch in Germany will commence in June. By Andrew Tsaousis