Tuesday, August 18, 2020


No, it’s a big grown-up, with big balls, and bitumen-blasting performance.

Way out in the back blocks, a million miles from care, and watching the road ahead and over my shoulder for Mr. Plod, I have my right foot pushing against the firewall, and quickly deciding, this may be the youngest of the breed from Benz, but as the scenery flashed by in a blur, I’m thinking about comparisons with mature models, the Subaru WRX and the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO.


Both those cars were spawned in the spotlight of international rallying and built entirely for purpose. The A45 AMG S offers the same urgent, enthusiastic acceleration of the rally cars from the rising sun, and when my road speed and pulse rate slows, I realise this may be the most fun Benz I’ve burned rubber off.


I thought the AMG C63 was a pretty nifty piece of kit, but the A45 AMG S is actually more enjoyable, easier the throw around, and its all-wheel-drive set up, and well-tuned suspension delivers confidence-boosting potential for real fun in a dedicated performance car.


This model’s predecessor was wild, untamed, uncomfortable around town, and very immature. Everything has changed. It’s like it was sent off to a new school to learn a bit about compliance, smoother power delivery and real comfort. This one is way better than the old farty-burpy-barky teenager. Let's face it everyone's a teenager at some point.


That's why as I contemplated this review, I find myself asking: “Why wasn’t it this way, the first time around?” Fact of the matter is cars like this have to evolve from something, and it’s not as if Benz burned its bridges with version one. This one is just better in every respect.


Its all very nicely crafted and well equipped, right down to the Hey Mercedes voice-recognition system that can control a bundle of adjustments that would normally need a switch or knob.


There is a brilliant Burmeister sound system, four USB charging ports and a wireless charging pad, a giant panorama of instrument and infotainment displays, four cupholders, reasonable boot space and enough room in the back for kids.

Mechanically, the car has an eight-speed DSG gearbox and all-wheel drive with the ability to move the grip around to the axle that needs the most help, and there is a big rear wing, oversized 18-inch alloys and a four-barrel exhaust.

But the crew at AMG has turned the dial around to 13 for the engine of the A45, which is said to be the most powerful four-cylinder in the world.


It makes a truly wicked 310 kiloWatts, with 500 Newton-metres of torque, although it takes premium unleaded, and can get as thirsty as a V8 if you spend a lot of time with the right foot on the floor.


However, I think this A45 S sets a new standard for exceptionally ‘hot’ hatches - even if it does cost an eye-watering AUD$93,600! For the people who want what it offers the A45 S graduated with honours, and they’ll be very happy with how this graduate turned out.

Paul Gover

Read this and other reviews plus the latest racing news at https://www.race.news

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