MERCEDES-AMG has confirmed its second-gen A45 hot hatch will have “more than 300kW” from an all-new 2.0-litre turbo petrol when it arrives in 2019.
Set to battle the recently updated 294kW Audi RS3, AMG boss Tobias Moers told Wheels that topping the 300kW figure is important to assert the A45’s dominance in a fledging hot hatch power battle with its rival German brands.
“It’s a cool number,” he said. “It’s always the same story. You have to be at a certain number and you have to over achieve with this. We know that the [the A45’s current 2.0-litre unit] is at the limit, so we have to go to a new engine.”
Electric turbocharging is on the table to deliver a further power boost later in the A45’s product cycle, with Moers revealing he sees drivetrain electrification and hybrid assistance as the future of performance.
“We’ve got to do something,” said Moers. “You know it [electric turbos] is certainly something we’re having a close look at, but maybe not in the first initial lot of cars. It’s too early to talk about the details because then I give information to my competitors and I can’t do that.”
Moers did reveal AMG is well advanced in developing its own version of the new Mercedes-Benz in-line six-cylinder petrol engine that debuted in the facelifted S-Class earlier this week. The new straight six, which is from the same modular M256 engine family that will spawn the A45’s fresh 2.0-litre unit, introduces an all-new “electric compressor” that spins at low engine speeds to provide instant boost while a conventional turbo is still coming up to pressure.
An all-new four-wheel-drive system is also mooted for the next-gen A45, though Moers wouldn’t be drawn on whether it will retain the current car’s front-drive bias or adopt a system with variable torque split that can send 100 percent of its twist to the rear like the new E63.
Moers also didn’t rule out the inclusion of a ‘Drift mode’, saying any AMG system would be different to the set-up on the Ford Focus RS which uses a twin-clutch four-wheel-drive system and a complex ESC calibration to encourage power oversteer.
“Nothing is confirmed [about Drift mode],” said Moers. “I know the Focus RS. It’s ok, but that’s no Drift mode. You can do donuts with that car, sure, but drifting on a race track at high speed is not possible.”