A new level of mad for the hot hatch

This is the new Mercedes A45 AMG, and it is one of the most powerful hot hatches ever built, says Ben Pulman in Car magazine. It’s also the first from Mercedes’ AMG division, which tunes the cars for high performance. The result is a shopping hatchback with the performance to “embarrass a Porsche 911”. From an engine which is a mere 1,991cc, AMG has squeezed 355bhp, meaning the A45 produces more horsepower per litre (178bhp) than just about every other car on the road, even the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. This is “an impressive hot hatch”.

It certainly brings “a whole new level of mad to the hot hatch concept”, says What Car. It’s good fun to drive, and yet “has an edge of maturity to it that’s crucial in a car of this price”: it’s “thrilling, but not scary”. It’s far from cheap: £7,000 more than a base, manual BMW 135i, for example, though for that you do get four-wheel drive, an automatic gearbox and superior pace. But if you’re after a usable daily driver that also promises “properly outrageous performance – enough to be well worth using on track as well as your average B-road” – this could be for the right level of mad for you.

Price: £37,845
Engine: 1,991cc, turbocharged
Power: 355bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque: 332lb ft @ 2,250-5,000rpm
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph: 4.6 seconds
Fuel consumption: 40.9mpg
Carbon: 161g/km