Back in 1983, Fiat got serious about hot hatches and introduced the Strada 130tc whose 2-litre engine, as implied, produced 130bhp. At the time it was the most potent car of its kind. And I don’t think you’d have found anyone alive then who would believe that 37 years later, the bar for the 2-litre fast hatchback would now be set beyond 400bhp. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Ferrari offered a standard production road car with more power than Mercedes-Benz offers today in a compact hatchback.
The Mercedes-AMG A45S is an extraordinary car, packing 416bhp under its stubby bonnet and distributing it to the four corners via a whipcrack-quick eight-speed double-clutch gearbox. Here is a shopping car that between rest and 62mph will put clear air between itself and an Aston Martin DB11. Thanks to a typically uncompromising AMG chassis and its compact dimensions, the result is one of the quickest point-to-point cars of my recent acquaintance. And yet other slower hatches are more engaging to drive, a Honda Civic Type-R for instance. The A45 is mightily powerful, but it’s also heavy at 1635kg and, at over £50,000, more expensive than a Porsche Cayman.
I’d probably take it over its only direct rival, the Audi RS3. For most people, a VW Golf R and £15,000 in the bank is a better bet.
Engine 2.0 litres, 4 cylinders, turbocharged
Power 415bhp at 6750rpm
Power to weight 253bhp per tonne
Transmission eight-speed double clutch, four-wheel drive
Top speed 168mph
Verdict Rapid, but better options exist
Some Accessories at Earls Court
AC-DELCO Stand 348 A large display of motor accessories is shown on this stand, consisting of sparking plugs, fuel pumps, oil filters, speedometers, air cleaners, ignition coils and many other…
Club news, November 1942
We hear…. Lord Avebury, of Jowett Cars, Ltd., is now the owner of the 1924 2-litre ex-Conan Doyle V12 Delage, which was given independent front suspension by L.M. Ballamy some years…
More caption please
Sir, The purpose of Motor Sport, these days, is surely to market racing history to those unlucky enough to have been born too recently. So can we have fuller captions?…