A few months ago, Mercedes-AMG showed off a new hot hatch, the 306-hp A35 (pictured above). It’s the brand’s new entry-level car, and it seems cool, but the one we’re really excited for is the 400-plus-horsepower A45. It won’t come to the US in hatch form, but will possibly make it here as a sedan, and it’ll also make the basis for the next CLA and GLA 45. At the Los Angeles Auto Show yesterday, we talked to AMG boss Tobias Moers, and he whetted our appetites even more for the AMG’s new 45-series cars.
We already knew the A45 would make over 400 horsepower from a new 2.0-liter turbo four—making it the most powerful four-cylinder on the market—and we knew it’d get all-wheel drive. We just didn’t know much about the system, but yesterday, Moers told us it’ll be super trick, with a next-level Drift Mode.
“We’re going to call it 4Matic+, but it’s given that it’s not the same four-wheel drive that we use in other cars because it’s an east/west application,” Moers said.
I asked him if it was at all similar to the outgoing Ford Focus RS’s all-wheel drive system, which also offered a drift mode.”Yeah, they claim that they can drift. I tried it,” Moers said.
“No,” I asked?
Pressed for more, Moers didn’t get into what specific hardware AMG will use, but he said that like the Focus RS, the A45’s system will offer a variable torque split between the front and rear axles and torque vectoring at the rear. “It’s fun. No understeer,” Moers said, adding that you’ll be able to jump on power super quickly on corner exit.
The A45 hatchback will probably hit the market in the second half of 2019, and a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed we will get a 45-series car in some capacity. Moers also said we’ll get the A35 sedan in the US too, so there’s that to look forward to.
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