We Spotted The Focus RS' New Rival And It's A Mercedes-AMG

Spy Shots

Germany is looking to enter the American hot hatch fray.

It seems that America’s adversity to small cars has led us to be plagued with a drought of hot hatches. It’s taken an eternity to get a Ford Focus RS in the US, but now that it’s here, dealers are marking it up because as you’d expect, every self-respecting car nut is trying to get their hands on it. Mercedes has been looking at Ford’s success with a bit of jealousy. As we all know it has a thing for expanding its lineup to fill every conceivable gap/gaps that don't even exist yet.

The automaker is bringing it’s small but successful A-Class over for 2017, and it appears that Mercedes is also prepping a spicier version to go with it. Our spy photographers just caught wind of the small Mercedes-AMG A43 testing in Southern Europe with enough tweaks to prove that this is more than just a facelifted model. Even with the heavy camouflage, it’s hard to conceal the large gap in the front left hand side of the bumper. Following that are large brake rotors that have been drilled to improve cooling performance. Dual tailpipes are also sure to open up a bit more horsepower and improve the engine’s breathing. And then of course there’s the growling exhaust note that makes the souped-up power plant hard to conceal.

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Still, even with all of these additions, this version of the A-Class is likely not the A45 AMG. Instead, it’s the half AMG, much like the C43 AMG sits between the C63 and C450. The telltale signs of the slight down tune are held in the smaller air intakes and brakes. While they are clearly upgrades from the next lowest A-Class, we expect a bit of a boost for the A45, which will compete with the Audi RS3 hatch abroad. Meanwhile, this A43 will step into the ring with the more standard S3 hatchback. With a likely 310-320 horsepower coming from its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine it’ll sure pack a punch. Fingers crossed these all make it to the US when the A-Class’ introduction takes place in 2017.

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