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New Mercedes-Benz A-Class
The launch of Mercedes’ new A-Class hatchback was the most eagerly received in the manufacturer’s history, with 70,000 pre-orders booked between its first appearance at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and its launch on 1st January 2013. With its gorgeous looks, ferocious performance and outstanding equipment levels, this is one vehicle certainly able to live up to the pre-launch excitement.
With the striking “clamshell” bonnet, side strakes in the bodywork, and inimitable headlamps, the A-Class would be instantly recognisable as a Mercedes even without the badge and grille. The unmatched Mercedes-Benz build quality is equally apparent on the inside. The low-slung, body-hugging sports seats give the driver a feeling of union with the vehicle before you even start the engine. Little touches such as the minimalist dials (similar to those of the SLS supercar) and sports steering wheel add to the sense of occasion.
More practically, the cabin boasts a vast range of technologically advanced equipment as standard – including a standalone multimedia and satellite navigation system, as well as Bluetooth® and iPhone connectivity. The priority placed on safety is also a clear priority for the car’s designers. As well as the protection provided by the strong structure and up to nine airbags, the Electronic Stability Programme and radar-based Collision Prevention System are excellent active safety tools to warn the driver of impending danger.
The range of petrol and diesel engines available with the new A-Class offer outstanding fuel economy as well as performance. The vigorous “Engineered by AMG” A250 BlueEfficiency motor can thrust it from 0-62mph in just 6.6 seconds. If lower fuel and road tax bills are your priority, on the other hand, the A180 CDI BlueEfficiency unit can achieve fuel economy and carbon emissions of 74.3mpg and 98g/km respectively.
The A45 AMG 4MATIC boasts dramatic styling to match its blistering performance. Up front, your eyes are immediately drawn to the AMG twin-louvre radiator grille framed by expressive headlamps with LED running lights. At the rear, key visual elements include the AMG-styled apron, LED tail lights and the AMG sports exhaust with two chrome tailpipes.
The AMG brand’s racing DNA is apparent throughout the cabin of the A45 AMG 4MATIC, with AMG Performance seats fitted as standard with striking red seatbelts.
This black/red theme continues with the distinctive cruciform air vents, with high-gloss black surrounds and red inserts. And the flat-rimmed sports steering wheel, trimmed in black nappa leather with red stitching.
Other motorsport-inspired features include the AMG instrument cluster and AMG DRIVE UNIT, plus brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs.
The most powerful 4-cylinder 2.0 litre turbo in production, the A45 AMG 4MATIC produces 450 Nm of torque and sprints from 0-62 mph in just 4.6 seconds.
While the A45 AMG 4MATIC is predominantly front-wheel drive, for optimum agility and control the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive system can send up to 50% of the power to the rear wheels if needed.