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Turns out Mercedes-AMG can eke even more power out of a 2.0-litre four-banger, after all. The successor to the manic A45 hot hatch will have a brand new unit making 300kW.

We were part of a group of Australian motoring writers to chat with Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias Moers at the Geneva motor show this week, who threw us some crumbs to work with.

“The A45 that’s coming, I think it’s going to be the benchmark in that segment, this for us is the task,” Moers said, though such a line isn’t exactly a shocker. The next bit was more telling, though.

“It’s going to be 400-plus horsepower,” he added. That’s 298kW, which is up over the current 280kSW loudmouth version and compares to 294kW for the Audi RS3 five-pot.

Pictured: The ‘regular’ 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class with expensive optional paint

The next generation AMG A-Class family will be spun off the new model revealed earlier this year, which makes huge strides in all areas. There’ll also be a toned-down Mercedes-AMG A35 version, similar conceptually the the AMG ’43’ family.

“What we are doing for the next generation is we’re engineering a brand new engine, a 2.0-litre engine that is everything new — nothing in common,” he said.

Of course Moers, an engineer and gun steerer himself who’s fond of burning rubber, said the new engine was only part of the mix.

“Power output is nothing without the driving dynamics which is able to follow the power output,” he said.

Pictured: Mercedes-AMG is testing its next hot hatch 

“… It doesn’t make sense unless you have driving dynamics equal. I’m not a fan of over-powered cars.”

On this theme, Moers ruled out any form of ‘EQ Boost’, a system the company is rolling out in models including the C-Class that adds an electric boost for small periods at take-off, and works with a 48V ancillary system. Avoiding weight gains, perhaps?

Moers revealed a new all-wheel drive system was also being developed to go with the hyped-up hot hatch. It should be a variable system called 4Matic + rather than a fixed-ratio setup with a rear bias.

What about a lairy drift mode? He wouldn’t be drawn. We’d put money on it happening.

Australia

The regular A-Class family will arrive here in June/July, with the A200 to kick off around $45k drive-away. We’re one of the world’s key AMG markets, so expect us to lop you in further on the A35/A45, and soon.

MORE: A-Class news, reviews, comparisons and video
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