Home / Reviews / First Drive / Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ Attacks NATRAX Testing Track

 

We drive the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ , the planet’s most powerful four-cylinder production car engine to its absolute limit at Asia’s longest high-speed testing track of its kind.

  • Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+

Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Felt like there were fire-breathing dragons instead of butterflies in my stomach. From the driver’s seat of the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ I could see the long straight section of the 11.3 kilometres of NATRAX, the longest high-speed test track of its kind in Asia and the fifth longest in the world. This pocket rocket has so much potential but with our limited time on the perfectly surfaced track and its oval layout, we’ll only be testing the top whack of the hatchback.

Engine
Don’t go by the size of this AMG. Hidden underneath that bonnet is a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine —the most powerful four-cylinder series-production engine in the world. And it breathes fire, punching out a gigantic 421 hp at 6,750 rpm and 500 Nm of torque between 5,000 and 5,250 rpm. Yes, that’s 115 hp and 100 Nm more than its AMG A 35 sedan sibling.

Design
When it came to India, the German HQ went the full hog and shipped not just the most powerful version but also the top-of-the-line trim. It also looks a bit like the AMG GT with its Panamericana grille and muscular haunches on the bonnet. Sleek Multibeam LED headlamps give it an aggressive face and the large 19-inch wheels with red brake calipers complete the menacing stance. The signature LED tail-lamps and quad exhaust announce that this is a proper AMG. While the low ground clearance of 113 millimetres adds to the look, it might not be very practical in our real-world conditions. It’s a shame that Indian buyers don’t get the option of the AMG Performance parts like the winglets on the bumpers and the oh-so-beautiful rear spoiler.

Features
From where I was sitting, there was the usual AMG nuance all around. The bucket-type front seats offer ideal support and get nice contrast stitches and highlights. I had my hands firmly on the AMG-specific steering wheel with perfectly positioned paddle shifters. Like others from the stable, the highlight is the dual-screen — a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster adjacent to a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. On the A 45 S, the infotainment system also doubles as a data-logging and telematics system and gives a live feed of the track from the front camera. And there’s a whole bunch of trickery like driving modes, including the aggressive ‘Race’ and even a drift mode.

Performance
We got to try out some of these, including the exhaust note enhancer system, as we barrelled over the smooth tarmac. With the exciting pops and bangs from the exhaust, it did 0-100 km/h around the seemingly accurate claimed 3.9 seconds. The manic engine performance is complemented by the quick AMG-tuned, eight-speed DCT and the four-wheel-drive system did an exceptional job of laying down the power on the tarmac. Unlike the previous one, the A 45 S gets a clever new 4MATIC+ that calculates things such as wheel traction, steering, and throttle inputs to provide almost a 50:50 split between the axles, most of the time.

Ride and Handling
That’s one of the reasons why the AMG felt super grippy and planted throughout our drive. Credit also goes to the Michelin rubber which even at these speeds never felt lacking in traction. With barely any steering inputs, the well set up A 45 S, along with the track layout and some physics, took care of the rest. No fear of flashing speed guns encouraged us to keep the accelerator pinned and in no time the speedo tipped over the 200 km/h mark. We moved to the extreme right lane, prepping for the parabola. The firm suspension kept the car taut and controlled as we whizzed to the limited 278 km/h top speed. What a feeling — like a booster shot to get the mundane out of your system.

Price
Hungry for more but rejuvenated, we hauled the anchor and rolled into the pit-lane. It’s an incredibly fun car to drive and is a proper hot hatch. However, with a sticker of Rs 79.50 lakh (ex-showroom), the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ demands a spectacular premium of Rs 22 lakh over the AMG A 35 sedan, making it within range for a select few only. (Also Read: Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI Review)


Need to know

Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+
Price: Rs 79.50 lakh (ex-showroom)
Engine: 1,991 cc, in-line four, turbo-petrol
Max Power: 421 hp at 6,750 rpm Max Torque: 500 Nm at 5,000-5,250 rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed, DCT, automatic, all-wheel drive
Suspension: AMG suspension
Weight: 1,550 kg

 

 

About the author: Sarmad Kadiri

 

 

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