Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

We take the Mercedes-AMG A45 S – the most powerful hot hatch on the market – for a spin…

It could be argued that the concept of the ‘hot hatch’ – in the traditional sense – is now in its dying days.

After all, we live in an era where a family EV is often quicker off the mark than many a performance ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

There are only a few genuine ‘hot’ hatches left, including the Audi RS3, Volkswagen Golf R, Honda Civic Type R and the Mercedes-AMG A45 S – the subject of this week’s road test.

Just to recap, the fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback was launched in 2018 and facelifted at the end of 2022.

Topping the range are a pair of performance models (the Mercedes-AMG A 35 and the even-faster Mercedes-AMG A 45 S), which have now also received a makeover.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

The A 45 S is the most powerful hot hatch on the market (415bhp and 369lb ft of torque) and it features the world’s most potent series-production four-cylinder engine.

The key stats say it all, because that turbocharged 2.0-litre engine means it’s capable of 0–62mph in a blistering 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 168mph.

Oh, and all that power is directed to the road via an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox and AMG’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

For what it’s worth, fuel economy is a claimed 30.8mpg. And frankly, unless you possess superhuman levels of restraint, the reality is closer to 25mpg.

First impressions count and the Mercedes-AMG A45 S is a statement car.

Apart from new front and rear lights and an AMG badge on the bonnet, the update hasn’t made much of a difference to the car externally – which is no bad thing.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

With its aggressive stance, lower lip spoiler, quad-exhaust pipes, front bumper canards and a massive rear wing, it oozes performance.

Inside, the first thing you notice is the driving position, which is a tad high, while the seats are on the firm side. The dashboard is shared with standard A-Class models, so there’s an impressive dual-screen set-up and a head-up display.

If you prefer things minimalist, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S may not be for you. There’s a complex twin-spoke steering wheel incorporating two mode buttons, five circular air vents and a line of climate-control switches.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

There’s plenty of room up front, but those bucket seats eat into the rear passenger space, so best to try the space for size.

The 370-litre boot is about average for a family hatchback and there’s a useful 40/20/40-split rear bench.

Of course, premium materials are used throughout the interior and it’s hard to fault the overall build quality, inside and out.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

Naturally, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S is a little more vocal on start-up than your average hatchback, but it’s not anti-social.

In fact, it’s really easy-going, happy pootling around town and cruising on the motorway. Put your foot down and it’s a car transformed. The exhaust note is angrier, it pumps through the gears and before you know it, you’re up to the legal limit.

Traction is prodigious, but hot hatches aren’t just about straight-line speed – it’s how they cope on more challenging roads.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

And it’s here that the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S is in another league. There are a bewildering amount of drive mode settings (there’s even a drift mode), and you can tweak the steering, suspension and exhaust, but ultimately, the sportier you get the more astonishing it becomes.

With sharp, responsive steering, phenomenal cornering ability, powerful brakes and a glorious rear bias, it’s remarkably forgiving and remains unbelievably composed.

I can’t pretend to understand all the clever, technical stuff going on behind the scenes. All I know if that it works superbly. Not only does it put a smile on your face, but it leaves you yearning for more. This could be an entertaining track day weapon.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

My only criticism is that the ride is firm, even in comfort mode, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker. Sadly, the starting price of £63,285 will be for many.

Verdict: Quite simply, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S is one of the best hot hatches ever – a heady mix of power, superb driving engagement, top build quality and practicality.

Mercedes-Benz UK


Rare U.S.-legal, 6.0 Liter ’88 Mercedes-Benz AMG HAMMER coupe – 1 of 13 built – breaks cover on MB MARKET live online auction. IT’S (AMG) HAMMER TIME! will end on August 4, 2022.

IT’S (AMG) HAMMER TIME!This “Pre-Merger” AMG Hammer coupe is one of only 13 built by AMG in the U.S. and one of an estimated five Hammer coupes built for the U.S. market.

“We at The MB Market are privileged to offer this previously undiscovered AMG Hammer coupe, which has not been offered for sale publicly for over 25 years and has remained under the care of the current owner for nearly two decades,” said Blakley Leonard, co-founder of The MB Market. This is the first time an AMG Hammer is being offered for sale via a U.S.-based auction or any online auction platform worldwide.

At the time this car was built, AMG was still an independent tuning company separate from Mercedes-Benz. It was built by AMG North America in Westmont, IL, during an era when, notoriously, “the only limitation on what could be done to your Mercedes-Benz was the size of your bank account,” added Leonard.

It’s estimated that approximately 30 AMG Hammers were produced worldwide, with only 13 of those built for the North American market and less than five in the desirable coupe variant. It is from the Hammer that the lineage for all modern “luxury performance” cars can be directly traced. This is the car that started it all.

After the car was built in Illinois by AMG, Andy Cohen of Beverly Hills (CA) Motoring reportedly sold the car to a gentleman who drove the car from Beverly Hills to Las Vegas on his first day of ownership. Upon arriving in Las Vegas, he was pulled over for speeding and the car was subsequently seized by the D.E.A. after some illegal substances were found in the car.

“This is more than a car,” continued Leonard. “This is an opportunity to own a piece of automotive history. The car that set the standard for the high-performance luxury sedan as we know it today, and the car that permanently affixed AMG among the all-time greats.

“Without the insane experiment undertaken by AMG to stuff a nearly 400-horsepower, hand-built V8 into a mid-sized luxury sedan, an entire segment of the modern automotive marketplace might not even exist.

To learn more about IT’S (AMG) HAMMER TIME! & its previous owners, and bidding information, please visit


Just 55 MERCEDES-AMG CLA 45 EDITION 55 units to be produced for the U.S. market to commemorate Mercedes-AMG’s 55th birthday.


The scope of equipment for the special MERCEDES-AMG CLA 45 EDITION 55 model includes the AMG Aerodynamics package. This comprises of a front apron with a larger front splitter and additional flics, an AMG rear wing, deflector elements at the simulated side air outlets of the rear apron, and the diffuser blade, all painted in high-gloss black. Developed in the wind tunnel, these components serve to improve driving characteristics at high speeds.

The AMG Night package and the AMG Night package II also enhance the dynamic appearance of the MERCEDES-AMG CLA 45 EDITION 55. The front splitter and trim elements on the louvers in the outer air intakes, plus the inserts in the AMG side sill panels, beltline trim strip, window line trim strip and exterior mirror housings are finished in high-gloss black. In addition, the 4-Door Coupe features tailpipe trims finished in black chrome and heat-insulating dark tinted glass. The louvres in the AMG-specific front grille finished in black chrome and model badges on the trunk lid and wings finished in high-gloss black complete the exclusive appearance.

The interior is characterized by the contrast of black and red. The AMG Performance seats are upholstered in two-tone Classic Red/Black Nappa Leather. The AMG Performance steering wheel finished in Microfiber with “Edition 55” badge and black 12 o’clock marking celebrates the 55th birthday of the brand. AMG door sill panels with red illuminated AMG lettering and black AMG floor mats made of high-quality velour with red contrasting stitching and “Edition 55” lettering woven in red further enhance the special anniversary model.

The MERCEDES-AMG CLA 45 EDITION 55 also includes a customized AMG Indoor Car Cover in elegant black with a silver-colored AMG logo at the height of the upper edge of the windscreen. It is made from breathable, tear-resistant synthetic fiber fabric with an antistatic inner fabric made of flannel.

For more information about Mercedes-AMG products and become a member of the AMG Private Lounge please visit


The fabled British automaker’s first sport-ute – BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX – will definitely leave you shaken and stirred, blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.


 There’ll come a time when Bond, James Bond, will need to hand back the Walther PPK, the MI6-issued Omega Seamaster and the License to Kill. He’ll get hitched, settle down, and no doubt have a couple of rug-rats with Moneypenny. The current 007, Daniel Craig, is 53 for goodness’ sake. Arthritis and AARP are surely just around the corner!

Of course, with matrimonial bliss will come spatial needs. It’s no good rushing around in a classic 1960s two-seater – even one with machine guns and ejector seats – when there are baby seats to fit and IKEA flat-packs to bring home. Taking it as a given that Bond will always drive an Aston Martin, the company has thankfully recognized 007’s dilemma and come up with the perfect new Bondmobile: the ‘21 DBX. An SUV no less.

But this is not your typical sport-ute. Here is arguably the sportiest, most agile, most dynamic load-hauling 4×4 out there. One that will definitely leave even 007 shaken and stirred. It’s also arguably the most gorgeous-looking SUV money, or even Moneypenny, can buy. And with that trademark front grille – a carbon copy of the one on Bond’s much-loved ‘64 DB5 – it’s unmistakably an Aston.

I love the swept-back windshield and swoopy roofline. I love that curvy, bulging hood which, I reckon, used Daniel Craig’s six-pack abs showcased in Casino Royale, for design inspiration.

While the company hasn’t enjoyed the greatest reputation for quality and reliability in the past, it’s comforting to know that much of the DBX’s key technology comes courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Heck, even Aston’s new CEO, Tobias Moers, was formerly boss of Mercedes-AMG. Pop that curvy hood to see the fruits of the Aston-Mercedes partnership. Powering this new DBX is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that does duty in a bevy of Benzes, along with the Aston DB11 and Vantage.It’s been massaged by Aston to better suit SUV duty, cranking out an impressive 542-horsepower and muscley 516 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a Mercedes-sourced nine-speed automatic and rear-wheel-biased all-wheel drive, the DBX can sprint from standstill to 60 in just 4.3 seconds.

But instead of borrowing a 4×4 platform from Mercedes, the company developed an all-new one for the DBX; an I-beam-stiff concoction of glued and riveted aluminum. And it drives like a dream. Naturally it’s quick; dial-up Sport in the drive mode system and it will rocket away from a stoplight like a rock out of a catapult. But it’s not the hard-edged, blunt instrument it could have been. The snap, crackle and pop exhaust is there, it’s but subdued, less vocal.

BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBXIn place of hard-riding sports suspension, the DBX features three-chamber air springs for a smoother, silkier ride. They even do double-duty raising the body to wade through waist-deep water. But what will stagger you is the sheer nimbleness and agility when you start powering the DBX through curves. With an electronic anti-roll system quelling just about any body roll, and the kind of precise, well-weighted steering that feels hard-wired to your brain, it’s an SUV that really thinks it’s a sportscar.

Inside, the Aston’s cabin is a joyous place to experience all this action. Most surfaces are slathered in buttery-soft Bridge of Weir leather with gorgeous double-stitching. Here there’s proper space for five adults, plus their luggage, with rear-seat legroom being especially stretch-out comfy. And the full-length panoramic sunroof floods the cabin with light.

I wouldn’t pick the somber, all-black Kentucky coal mine interior of our test car when there are so many more interesting combos to choose from. And the gimmicky, high-mounted push-button shifter on the dash of the BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX will drive you crazy!

Pricewise, you’ll pay $176,900 for a base DBX – around the same as a V8-powered Bentley Bentayga – though our extras-laden test car stickered at a lofty $205,086. Its only other real rival is the similarly-priced 670-horsepower Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo S.

As for 007, a DBX would definitely help ease him smoothly, and speedily, into parenthood. Perhaps “Q” could even design him a couple of custom kiddy seats. Minus the ejectors, of course!

For more information, please check out the BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX @