2021 Mercedes-AMG A45 S review: Sizzling hot hatch

Power-packed Mercedes-AMG A45 S comes with a hefty price

2021 Mercedes AMG A45 S
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It’s been two years since Mercedes announced the existence of this secondgeneration A45 S but now it’s found its way over here its 416bhp 2-litre engine still offers the highest specific output of any four cylinder engine. As a result and once hooked up to a four-wheel-drive system, the car is the only production hatchback of which I am aware that can accelerate from rest to 62mph in fewer than four seconds.

More impressive is the way it does it: there’s no peakiness and actually quite an invigorating growl as it slings you across the countryside. It reminded me of those ridiculous ‘FQ’ Mitsubishi Evos but without the terrible turbo lag.

While the engine grabs all the headlines, just like the V8 Defender reviewed on the previous page it’s actually the chassis of this world’s fastest hatch that is the real star turn, for it manages that impossibly difficult task of making the car feel like a real roller-skate, yet without ride quality that makes you fear for the integrity of your dental work.

There are problems: the range is useless because the fuel tank was designed for diesel engines with much less than half the power, and the enormous front chairs rob you of rear legroom, but the only real deep breath comes when you see it is £56,595. That’s not Porsche Cayman money, that’s Cayman S and good to drive though this is, it’s not that good. Then again, if you need the rear seats and boot space, it comes closer than you might imagine.

 

2021 Mercedes-AMG A45 S statistics

Price £56,595
Engine 2-litre, 4 cylinders, turbocharged, petrol
Power 416bhp
Torque 368lb ft
Weight 1550kg
Power to weight 268bhp per tonne
Transmission Eight-speed double clutch, four-wheel drive
0-60mph 3.9sec
Top speed 168mph
Economy 34.5mph
CO₂ 185g/km
Verdict That’s Cayman S money