Mercedes A-Class Refresh Includes Crown-Stealing 381-Hp A45 AMG

by Heather Platt | Posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2015

We’re sure the 362-horsepower Audi RS3 Sportback enjoyed its brief reign at the top of the hot-hatch horsepower charts. But now, Mercedes-Benz updated the A-Class so that it reclaims the throne, castle, and jewels: the Mercedes-AMG A45 4Matic comes with 381 hp from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a significant bump of 36 hp, and 350 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 18 lb-ft.

Mercedes A-Class

The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox gets shorter ratios from third to seventh gears, so its 0-62 mile-per-hour time has dropped from 4.6 seconds to 4.2 seconds. The A45 gets a Dynamic Select system – driving modes controlled by a rotary knob – that comes standard with four modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. Opt for the AMG Dynamic Plus package and you get a mechanical locking differential on the front axle, the two-stage AMG Ride Control sport suspension with adaptive damping, and a Race mode.

Outside, additional aero aids are applied to the nipped-and-tucked bodywork changes made to the entire A-Class range. The spoiler lip under the new front bumper, rear roof spoiler, and rear diffuser, create more downforce than before. Inside, the new flat-bottomed steering wheel is joined by sport seats that allow bolster depth adjustment. And for all those upgrades, fuel economy has stayed the same at 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers on the European cycle.

Even away from that tectonic shift, Mercedes made plenty of changes to the A-Class landscape. The new front bumper is said to be “more arrow-shaped,” in homage to the the Concept A-Class from 2011, that stretches its look horizontally. LED headlights, standard on the A45, are optional here, and are paired with interior ambiance lighting. In back we get new taillights and some angular exhaust finishers laid into a diffuser-like insert, an alteration we’re seeing across the entire Mercedes line-up. Inside, you’ll find a redesigned instrument cluster with new graphics, higher-quality finishes on the switchgear, seats with adjustable bolster length, and new color options.

Four driving modes are incorporated into the Dynamic Select system: Comfort, Sport, Eco, and Individual. The Eco mode has been tweaked to return even more fuel savings. This Mercedes is also the first to incorporate Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink for the non-iOs smartphoners.

There’s a press release below that spares nothing when it comes to information, laying out other changes like more powerful diesel engines among the 17 total models in the range, new diesel nomenclature, a launch-assist function, enhanced safety features, and a Motorsport Edition that provides optional extras that give the A-Class an AMG look without that AMG power, on top of the AMG Sport Line model. Or you can skip all that and just look at the pretty pictures above.

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