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The upcoming Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG will be the ‘entry drug’ into the German luxury brand’s performance arm when it goes on sale locally in August 2013.

The Mercedes A45 AMG, which we expect to be priced around $80,000, will become the most affordable way into an AMG-badged vehicle, taking the crown from the $152,800 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

Speaking with a small group of Australian automotive media at AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany, the company’s head of engines and powertrains, Friedrich Eichlers, said the A45 AMG will act as an “entry drug” for new buyers coming into the range and that AMG expects to gain an entirely new set of customers with its 2.0-litre turbocharged entry model.

Work on the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG began more than four years ago and the company quickly established that a V8 or V6 would not do the job. Work quickly started on the 2.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine, which is expected to have around 265kW of power and more than 400Nm of torque. Eichler says the 2.0-litre turbo four is a “big turbocharger with an engine mounted on it”.

Unlike the 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 (C63 and SLS), 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged V12 (S65, SL65, CL65) or the 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 (all other models), the A45’s engine will be built offsite by trained AMG technicians to meet the car’s anticipated high demand. It will, however, still follow the brand’s “one man, one engine” philosophy, which sees the same technician follow the production of the engine from beginning to end.

But as with all AMGs, the engine is by no means the whole package. Eichlers joked that front-wheel-drive vehicles are for children, which is why the A45 AMG will be making use of a variable four-wheel-drive system, capable of pushing up to 50 per cent of its power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).

He confirmed that the A45 AMG will have a 0-100km/h time starting with a four, which will make it very competitive against its main rivals, the BMW M135i and Audi RS3. He also confirmed that under testing conducted by AMG, the A45 was quicker around Germany’s Formula One track (Hockenheimring) than the M135i, Audi RS3 and even the BMW 1 Series M Coupe.

Locally, the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is expected to substantially increase already outperforming AMG sales. Despite our relatively small population, Australia is currently the sixth largest market for AMG vehicles outright (highest per capita) and sales are up more than 30 per cent so far this year, with the C63 leading the charge.

AMG has also enjoyed tremendous global growth in 2012, with sales up an enormous 39 per cent compared with its previous record. The growth has encouraged AMG to further expand its brand into emerging markets such as China, Russia and India.

The German powerhouse, now fully owned by Mercedes-Benz, expects to increase sales from 20,000 to 30,000 units per year by its 50th anniversary in 2017. It also plans to introduce seven new models (including the A45 AMG and CLA AMG) in the process.

  • Wile E Coyote

    I was very interested until I read that it is AWD.

    • F1orce


      As far as I’m concerned AWD is much better than both RWD & FWD

      • Wile E Coyote

        I am surprised at you…RWD is well known to be more fun to drive.It is not about lap times and wet weather but the driving sensation.
        I own both AWD and RWD in performance vehicles and I would definitely say in dry weather (which is most of the time in Oz) RWD is more enjoyable.
        Fifth Gear has also done a comparison and came to the same conclusion.

        • Car2012

          Regarding whether a AWD or FWD or RWD is more FUN, it is up to the individual and what characteristics they enjoy. I’m a fan off RWD and a manual gearbox. Whilst there are those who absolutely adore their Mitsubishi EVO’s and would never have it any other way. And I think that it would be very difficult to convince someone who owns a FWD Renault Clio 200 Cup (or an old Peugeot 205 GTi) that they are not having fun. My thoughts are that no matter what one is driving, if they are enjoying it, that’s great.

          • Mikey

            AWD, FWD & RWD all have their own characteristics.Having owned a 206gti, WRX, & RX7, I found that the WRX was boring (unless I found a nice smooth dirt road) the 206 & RX7 were way more fun on normal roads. Personally I wouldn’t get another AWD, but each to his own.

          • Dave W

            Fun is always found near or at the limit of the car. In terms of grip, it’s quicker to reach the limit, or at least get closer to it, in FWD or RWD sporty cars on normal roads.

            A lot harder to reach the limit of grip in a car with a rally born AWD system on normal road.. Maybe, just maybe, you simply can’t flog it without going way past the legal limit.

          • jav

            We have both a Golf R and a Scirocco R at home and I can tell you the FWD Scirocco is way more fun to drive and feels faster than the AWD Golf R too!

          • Dave W

            That’s probably because of Golf R’s mediocre stability control that keeps cutting power when you want to gun it.

          • Wile E Coyote

            I wonder why why MB don’t make all their sports cars AWD?
            Could they have been wrong for so long?I doubt it.

        • panos papadopoulos

          Totally agree with you! I would be surprisingly glad to hear it would be RWD but…..

          • Zaccyexactlyexactly

            Panos take your donkey and cart back to thessaloniki

    • Zaccy16

      Very smart move by AMG making it AWD because other wise it would have been FWD and that would have been the biggest laughing stock in AMG’s history!

      • Dom

        Kinda like a Golf

  • Clive

    AWD is better than FWD & safer, with better traction than RWD.
    As for the handling characteristics, we’ll have to wait n see.

    • Dave W

      With that much power, I wouldn’t even consider buying it if it’s FWD. If nothing else, it’ll be easier on the tyres.

      This is the smarter car than the upcoming 250kW FWD Focus RS. That car is gonna behave like a mongrel.

  • $29896495

    Did Bangle go to Merc after BMW?

  • Price Gougers.

    80k is a joke. They should price it against the M135i and place pressure on BMW.

    • Jack

      I’m pretty sure that once you option the M135i to the same spec as the A45, it will be well over $80k ..

      • sleepsy

        This is a full fledged AMG model. The M135i is just a 135i with some M gear on it and is a step below a proper M model a.k.a 1M. In this respect it is a pretty competitive price.

        • Car2012

          This a very good point. I had not given this a consideration previously. It is very special that the engine in the A45 AMG has a personal ownership, and the vehicle is a fully pledged AMG product. Although the M135i is an accomplished hatch, BMW seems to be cashing in on the ‘”M” brand name, which is a pity, Probably it should have been called 135i Hatch.

  • Mick

    Can’t believe Australia is the biggest AMG market per capita. Suspect half of them are purchased with the proceeds of crime looking at half the people driving them though.

    • Dave W

      You’re probably right. I’ve seen quite a few young men driving those $100k+ cars, even the $400k+ exotics and it makes me wonder where they got the money from.

      My guess is, a third of them have rich parents, another third from crime and the last third from hard work, legally screwing people out of their money.

      • Jack

        Love these comments! Just because someone younger than you has a nicer car than you, all of a sudden they are criminals or “screwing people out of their money”! Tall poppy syndrome is stIll alive and well in Australia! I’m under thirty and own two cars with a total value of just over $200k. I sacrificed after high school and through uni while others were getting hammered at the bars, I studied, associated with intelligent individuals and owned 5 properties before 24. I’m not bragging, but it really gets to me when people are so quick to judge. Work smarter, not harder – that’s the key.

        • Popper

          “another third from crime”

          I knew a guy in his twenties (a brother of a friend) who was always turning over very expensive cars. I never really gave it any thought, but a little later it all made good sense when he was sent to prison on drugs charges. After his first sentence he moved east, collected some more nice stuff for a short while, and then got a second longer sentence, again for drugs… It does happen, and I suspect it’s not uncommon.

          • Darryl

            Friedrich does say it’s the entry drug. He obviously knows his market.

        • Jav

           Good on you mate!

        • Dave W

          Sorry Jack but I was just generalising and you’re obviously the exception to the rule rather than the norm. As you said, most others would’ve been hammered at the pub.

        • JJ

          It really gets to me when people are so naive.

          You worked hard, congrats, but don’t be stupid enough to believe that most people at that age are behaving illegally to obtain what they have.

          Hard work was also specifically mentioned, not just crime.

          Go cry on one of your 5 properties.

          • Jack

            JJ – When I was replying to Dave W, it was because he was generalising about people who drove prestige cars into three categories. If you actually took the time to read the post in its entirety, his last point read – “hard work, from screwing people out of their money legally :)
            I can appreciate your point that there are people in our society that earn a living through criminal activites, however my point was that not everyone makes their living from the three points that Dave made. Have a good week buddy.

        • Hung Low

          Good for you Jack! Now give some thought to those other hard working young people who do not have the luxury to live with Mum and Dad while accumulating a huge hecs debt at university or have the paved path with dads career connections or accumulated wealth. We cannot be judge-mental to all young people, but some times a young person with an AMG residing in a battered up fibro house is a captain obvious moment.

          • Jack

            Completely appreciate your point too Hung Low, I used to live in Western Sydney and have gone to school with some of the shadiest characters you can imagine. But further to your comment, I was not fortunate in anyway when growing up either, my folks came here from a third world country with bugger all,  went to one of the worst public high schools in Sydney,  and had a massive HECS debt when I finished uni too. But Im not going to repeat or justify myself again – thats not the point of this article and my apologies for diverging from the topic.

            Now back to the article – I cant wait for a back to back comparison with the A45 and the 1 series M :)

  • Xristo303

    Once dealer delivery, stamp duty, luxury car tax is added in, and maybe an option or two ticked, this thing will be tipping over $100k.

    • Wile E Coyote

      You are right it is unlikely to be a bargain and will easily go over $100k with a few big ticket options like sunroof and sat nav . 

      • $29896495

        a few little items too. Have you ever seen a Merc options list, it’s as bad as BMW. Just about everything is an option.

      • KC

        Sunroof and sat nav are standard even on the A250 so I’m pretty sure it will be standard on this car.

  • MisterZed

    If you want an entry drug stick with weed – much cheaper than a Mercedes AMG.

    • MisterZed

      Wow, I made a suggestion for someone to take an illegal drug and my comment wasn’t taken down? 😮  Way to go CA!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1213204907 Petar Živković

    so Ford 250kw, Mercedes 265 kw, wonder what numbers will Mitsubishi and Subaru post up.

  • sunday

    “Eichlers joked that front-wheel-drive vehicles are for children, which
    is why the A45 AMG will be making use of a variable four-wheel-drive
    system, capable of pushing up to 50 per cent of its power to the rear

    Is this a misprint? This indicates a front bias – I though other quattro/haldex systems could send up to 80 odd percent to the rear wheels?

  • Dom Von Hutch

    The C63 is the biggest coke dealer’s car, just like the previous v10 M6 was, you guys are right to make a small generalization about them. Before Damelian went under I spoke to one of the sales guys at the place and he said and I quote “almost a third of our clientele purchase cars with CASH”. Go figure.

    • MisterZed

      Why would a drug dealer get a C instead of an E63 or S63? People do actually buy cars using cash, you know. It’s better than being ripped off with some stupidly high interest rate.

  • Robj

    “front-wheel-drive vehicles are for children” love that….in yr face fwd drivers…

  • Legalisnotanoption

    You want rear wheel grunt/HP per Kg?. Get a Yammha R1.

  • Jezzajv

    I think the phrase is “gateway drug”.

  • Mohammed Smith

    acid test is: can it beat the legendary Evo X MR ??? so far, not on looks anyway!!!

  • White Mercury

    Guys please do some homework when you write an article you got the NM wrong its 450NM not 400. (the same as the M135i)
    This car will be the be all and end all of Hot super hatches.Good Lawd cars are expensive in AU . wow