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Mercedes-AMG Shows New Hot Hatch At The Ring

Hot Hatch

Concept Drift gives our closest look yet at the new A45.

Mercedes is gearing up to roll out its newest hot hatch. But before it's ready to take the wraps off, it brought the new A45, still enveloped in its shape-concealing camouflage, to the Nürburgring 24-hour race this past weekend under the promising Concept Drift label.

It looks mostly like the same wrap we saw on the prototypes captured while drifting through the snow in the last teaser video. But this time we can see even more, including the ostensibly production alloys and the Panamericana grille (previously hidden) that's been making its way across the AMG lineup.

Affalterbach's new pocket rocket already looks the business, with more aggressive cues than the AMG A35 we've already seen. Just look at the deep air intakes in the front bumper, the rear wing handing off the trailing edge of the roof, and the quad exhaust tips popping out from the diffuser.

It promises to pack the punch to back up its looks, too. The A45 is slated to feature AMG's 2.0-liter turbo four, producing 382 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque in "standard” spec, ratcheted up to 416 hp and 369 lb-ft in the A45 S.

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Either way, that's a substantial increase over the 306-hp A35, and ought to deliver one of the finest hot-hatch performances on the market. Unfortunately that market won't include ours in the United States. At least not in this hatchback form. But we can expect the same powertrain to be offered on this side of the Atlantic in the CLA and possibly the A-Class sedan.

Whatever the body-style, it'll be sure to deliver the goods as it goes up against the Audi RS3 – itself no slouch, with its 2.5-liter turbocharged straight-five kicking out 394 hp and returning a sub-4-second 0-60 time.

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