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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mercedes-Benz Definitely Planning A-class AMG, 300-Plus-HP Turbo Four Possible

April 26, 2011 at 11:33am by Justin Berkowitz

It’s not just twin-turbocharged V-12s that demonstrate the hunger for power that gnaws at AMG engineers—it’s also the way Mercedes-Benz’s performance sub-brand massages virtually everything the company makes. Even the Geländewagen and its humble, militarized 1970s-era architecture is turned into the G55 AMG. With Benz’s A-class concept presaging a production model, we’ve received confirmation from Mercedes insiders that it, too, will be treated to a trip to the AMG spa.
The upcoming third-gen A-class—which we recently reported will be sold in the U.S. in sedan, crossover, and three- and five-door hatch forms—will be the first ever A to get the treatment. (Word is that executives didn’t think the wobbly econobox deserved an AMG badge in the past.) We expect the engine will be a highly tuned four cylinder. It’ll likely spring from the same family of four-bangers as the 2.0-liter found in the concept’s engine bay, and should make substantially over 300 hp with the aid of forced induction.
Although the new A-class will, like the first two generations, utilize front-wheel drive, Merc’s engineers have told us that the platform is being prepared for all-wheel drive; we expect that layout to be exploited in most performance models to banish any worries about torque steer. Given the sad reality that AMG has never built a volume production model with a manual gearbox, you can bank mortgage money on the A-class AMG having a strictly two-pedal setup. That said, we’d be surprised if it weren’t a dual-clutch automatic.
Answering the two most prominent questions that surround the new A-class—”When?” and “How much?”—is even more of a fool’s errand with respect to the AMG version. The simple answer is that we anticipate the AMG A-class to come at least a year after the regular A does, and that it will cost significantly more. Think about the premium commanded by the BMW 1-series M and you’ll probably be on the right track. You didn’t think a new Mercedes-Benz would be cheap, did you?
Tags: AMG, Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz A-class, Mercedes-Benz A-class AMG |
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