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2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 to produce more bhp/litre than McLaren’s Senna

2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 to produce more bhp/litre than McLaren’s Senna

2019 Mercedes-AMG A45
Mercedes’ forthcoming second-generation A45 is due with 200bhp per litre from its four-pot

The next-generation Mercedes-AMG A45 looks set to have the highest specific output for a production engine in the world, eclipsing even the McLaren Senna and its 789bhp V8.

AMG boss Tobias Moers told Autocar earlier this year that the A45 will have "well over 400bhp" from its new engine, which is expected to be an extensively reengineered version of the current car’s 2.0-litre lump.

That means it will have more than 200bhp per litre, ranking the car at least 12bhp/litre higher than the current A45 and beating the current specific output champion, the 197bhp per litre Senna.

The model, dubbed by insiders as ‘The Predator’ as a nod to its extreme performance, is expected to serve a slam dunk to Audi Sport and its archrival RS3 in the pairing’s ongoing super hatch fight, while also ensuring the A45 offers stronger straight-line performance than the soon to arrive and likely more adjustable BMW M2 CSL.

Despite rumours to the contrary, the model will be pure petrol and will not require a hybrid set-up to produce its headline-grabbing numbers. "It’s going to be the next step in every perspective, including driving dynamics," said Moers, who also confirmed that a softer AMG model, the A35, "will arrive ahead of the A45".

That car will use a lower-powered version of the 2.0-litre, likely outputting 300bhp to rank it directly alongside the Volkswagen Golf R.

The A45’s big power advantage will be illustrated with only small aesthetic differences. It will use a quad oval-exit exhaust system, where as the A35 will get a dual-exit system.

Also featured on the A45 is Mercedes’ Panamericana front grille, giving the 2019 car a design nod to the recently revealed AMG GT 4-door Coupé.

AMG’s upcoming all-wheel-drive five-door mega-hatch will have its own unique chassis developments with optional adjustable damping offering an extreme mode for high-speed circuit running.

The current car is renowned for its stiff adjustable set-up, but the recently sighted test cars for the next-gen model look to be sitting lower, suggesting AMG could be targeting even more body composure for track-day driving in its future model.

The new A-Class will be 10mm longer than today’s car and adopt a new floorpan and body structure that are claimed to provide significant increases in rigidity. This, in turn, is claimed to provide the new rival to the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series with vastly improved refinement.

The new A45 will also get a significantly wider front track and receive its own unique wheel carriers in a bid to reduce unsprung mass. It will roll on standard 18in wheels, but 19in rims will be an option.

Today’s four-year-old 376bhp first-generation A45 is capable of 0-62mph in 4.2sec, but AMG is planning to ramp up straight-line performance further still. The basis for the changes to the M133 unit comes from Mercedes’ new M260 four-cylinder engine. This is derived from the older M270 motor used by today’s A-Class, but has a new crankcase and cylinder head.

Initially, the reworked M133 will feature a traditional exhaust gas-driven twin-scroll turbocharger. However, AMG is also developing a more advanced variant of its new engine that uses a 48V electrical system and runs both an electric-driven turbocharger and electric motor in a hybrid set-up that promises an even greater ramp-up in performance.

AMG is also looking to endow its new hatchback model with an extra 20lb ft — a move that, insiders have told Autocar, will provide it with at least 369lb ft and allow its 0-62mph sprint to crack the 4.0sec mark.

The changes to the A45’s driveline extend to its gearbox and multi-plate-clutch four-wheel-drive system. Both have been extensively redesigned to handle the higher torque loadings of the new model.

In line with developments further down the new A-Class line-up, AMG’s new flagship hatchback model is set to adopt a new nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, together with a faster-reacting four-wheel-drive system that offers greater variability in the drive split between the front and rear wheels, plus a torque vectoring function for added on-the-limit handling delicacy.

The new A-Class, which is codenamed W177, will have the most comprehensive AMG range thanks to the introduction of the Golf R and Ford Focus RS-rivalling A35. That car will also face BMW’s next 1 Series hot hatch, which is set to adopt all-wheel drive and be called the M130iX.

“We’ve identified a market for a milder AMG model positioned below the A45 4Matic,” AMG boss Tobias Moers told Autocar. “The strategy is going to be similar to that seen further up the line-up, where our various ‘43’ models support the ‘63’ models.”

The new A45 builds on the developments of the new fourth-generation A-Class. The model is the first of up to eight new compact cars, which include replacements for today’s B-Class, CLA and CLA Shooting Brake, as well as the GLA. There will also be an A-Class Saloon (and its own 400bhp A45 variant), a GLB and a possible new seven-seat version of the GLB.

Additional reporting by Sam Sheehan and Andrew Frankel

Matt Saunders comment – Will power corrupt the AMG A45?

I’d change very little about the current Mercedes-AMG A45. The reports of even greater power and performance are to be expected: AMG needs the car to remain well clear of its cheaper hot hatchback opposition. I just hope the extra poke doesn’t come at the cost of the current car’s cleverly honed ride and handling compromise, which is very nicely judged for UK B-roads. A bit more Ford Focus RS-style balance and throttle-on handling adjustability out of that four-wheel-drive system isn’t a bad idea, mind.

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May 18, 2018 at 03:13PM


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