The new 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 and CLA 45 have had their exhaust theatrics numbed to meet ever-toughening noise and emission regulations in Europe – cuts Mercedes-Benz says apply to all markets, including Australia.
The new A45 and CLA45 make use of the world’s most powerful 2.0-litre production engine delivering an impressive 310kW of power and 500Nm of torque, good for a 0-100km/h time of 3.9 seconds in A45 S hatchback.
When it comes to engine and exhaust note, the new A45 is noticeably quieter than its predecessor, with the German manufacturer resorting ‘enhanced’ sound pumped into the interior.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the new cars, head of product planning for AMG compact cars, Bastian Bogenschutz, explained the difficulties posed by the new regulations
“The regulations were getting pretty difficult for the sound to just come from the exhaust system,” Bogenschutz told CarAdvice.
“So we added the AMG pure performance sound, there we take the real sound from the exhaust system, the pulsation of the real sound and move it inside the car. It works together with the exhaust system.”
Although the A45 and CLA45 AMG models coming to Australia won't have the European-fit petrol particulate filter because of the sulphur levels in our unleaded fuel, the sound will still be restricted thanks to the exhaust system. Bogenschutz says it would've been too costly to design a different exhaust unit for Australia.
“Globally, it’s the same, but it’s coming from the European regulations. We can [design specific exhausts] but it’s too expensive for every market to do it, it’s pretty difficult,” he explained.
The other aspect of the exhaust note that has largely disappeared is the crackles and pops you'd from the previous car on lift-off, with Bogenshutz admitting the two cars are now very different when it comes to engine and exhaust note.
“[It’s] nothing like [the predecessor], but even then it’s coming from the regulations as well.”
For car enthusiasts, the news will get worse as the regulations on noise are getting tougher roughly every two years – so all new-generation AMGs have to either adhere to the current regulations or even tougher ones.
Bogenshutz admits the rules "will affect everything" AMG makes, "it’s the same rules for everyone".
For those curious to know, the A45 is a little louder than the CLA45 because of its chassis style but also, in order to fix the sound, all that is required is an exhaust change as the software will adapt to the better-breathing system.