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2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S: how it’s moved the game on

By Chris Thompson, 05 Jul 2019 News

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S improvements feature

Why AMG’s new super hatch is more than just a faster version of the old one

There’s been a little bit of murmur among doubters that the new 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S is essentially the old car with more boost.

While it’s true the new car uses a higher boost pressure, it’s also been re-worked by AMG’s engineers to be more exciting. At least, that’s what AMG claims, before having let anyone drive it.

But even from AMG’s freshly printed (20-page!) press release, it’s clear the new car is more than just a refresh of the old model.

The old AMG A45’s engine was a record-breaker, with 265kW (and later 280kW after an update) making it the most powerful production four-cylinder in the world.

AMG A45 M139 engine

The new M139 engine now holds that record, but with 310kW, a vast number of engineered improvements, 31.5psi of boost instead of 26psi, and even its own production line in Affalterbach.

The new engine also revs to 7200rpm, 500rpm higher than the last, and is mounted the ‘other way around’ in the engine bay, with the exhaust ports at the rear and the intake at the front.

We’ve also extensively covered the M139’s details, if you want to dive a bit deeper

And while the new AMG A45 S (and its AMG CLA45 S sibling) is set to be another supercar-hassler thanks to that engine, it looks ready to step away from just being fast with a new feature.

2020 AMG A45 S rear

Despite criticism of the Ford Focus RS’ drift mode from AMG boss Tobias Moers, the new AMG A45 S has just that. It seems Moers wasn’t being critical of ‘drift mode’ in general… just Ford’s drift mode.

2020 AMG A45 S drift mode in action

With a clever twin-clutch rear limited-slip differential (paired with a system called AMG Torque Control) in the new AMG A45 S, the super hot hatch is able to split torque more cleverly than its predecessor.

While the first A45 could split torque between the front and rear axles, the new ‘S’ can take the torque that’s being delivered to the rear axle and split that however is necessary between each of the rear wheels.

This means the A45 S has proper torque vectoring (rather than just electronically-controlled ‘brake vectoring’), and can more easily maintain traction on the road when drifting isn’t the goal.

Drift mode, the new diff, and the stonking 310kW engine should make the new A45 S more than just a one-trick pony.

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