The Mercedes-AMG A45 hatch has been spied undergoing hot weather testing in southern Europe.

While the next-generation A-Class has been spied on multiple occasions, most recently in June when the A-Class' interior was revealed, this is the first time our spy photography agency has spotted the A45.

Compared to the less sporting versions of the new hatch, the A45 has a new front bumper with enlarged air intakes and a rear bumper with space to accommodate four exhaust tips, although only two are used here.

The A45 also features a more planted stance thanks to its lowered suspension, large wheels and wider tyres. This prototype also has larger disc brakes for improved stopping ability.

Tobias Moeras, head of AMG, told CarAdvice at the launch of the AMG GLC63, the next-generation A45 will have a new 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.

Of electric compression, the AMG boss said, "An electric turbine is something we have a close link to, but maybe not in that first version". Despite that, the new motor will generate over 300kW of power.

Although the new A-Class is expected to make its debut around the Frankfurt motor show in September, it won't begin hitting global showrooms until 2018.

This means the new A45 probably won't be unveiled until the halfway mark of 2018, at the earlier. If so, the new hot hatch won't arrive in Australia until late 2018 or early 2019.