The Mercedes-AMG A45 S is an absolute beast. That has long been established in a bunch of stories we've ran about Affalterbach's latest hot, or rather explosive performance hatch with a dedicated 'drift mode'. And after a good year of being teased, AMG enthusiasts in Malaysia can finally get their hands on the most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world.
Of course, that comes at a hefty price of RM448,888 for the CLA45 S and RM459,888 for the A45 S which is kitted up in the Edition 1 package. It's a big leap from the previous-generation models that got the ball rolling well below the RM400k mark. But with 421hp at their disposal, the latest run of 45-numbered compact AMGs produce more power than considerably pricier sporty alternatives like the BMW M2 Competition (RM627k for 410hp) and Porsche 718 Cayman (RM540k for 300hp).
To manage the obscene amount of power (and 500Nm of twist), AMG has equipped the A45 S and CLA45 S with a new eight-speed AMG Speedshift DCT and 4Matic+ AWD system. The M139 engine itself has been rotated by 180 degrees to optimise airflow and aerodynamics, with F1-derived Nanoslide coating used in the pistons and cylinders for good measure. The result is a car that will hit 100kph from a standstill in just 3.9 seconds (4.0s for the CLA45 S) before topping out at a superfluous 270kph.
In terms of kit, both 45 models ride on 19-inch (48.3-cm according to the official spec sheet) AMG wheels hooked up to AMG ride control suspension. There's also a host of other AMG-branded parts such as the performance seats and Dinamica microfibre steering wheel, plus the MBUX infotainment system that first surfaced in the W177 A-Class on which the A45 S is based. Being an Edition 1 model, the A45 S packs AMG's aerodynamics package and Night package, as well as Edition 1 interior trim over the CLA45 S. But the latter retains the exclusivity of being the only C118 CLA variant officially on sale in Malaysia.
A35 AMG Edition 1
A45 S AMG Edition 1
CLA 45 S AMG
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia clearly believes the A-Class is more marketable on our shores as the virtual launch of its new AMG compact cars also included the A35 Edition 1 hatchback for buyers who want a Merc that's closer in price and concept to things like the Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf R. Like the sedan that was launched last year, the A35 makes 306hp and 400Nm. It's a lot less power than the A45 S for a lot less money too; RM379,999 to be precise. It's a good RM31k more than the "Limousine" but that's the cost of the Edition 1 goodies factoring in once again.
This means that the W177 A-Class catalogue is as complete as it can be in Malaysia, with the second-gen CLA seemingly reduced to an AMG-specific role for our market, such is the sporty allure of its svelte proportions. Which one will you have?