The 2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 is set to take the fight to Audi’s RS3 with an all-new engine pumping out at least 300kW of power.
Tobias Moers, the man in charge of Mercedes’ high-performance arm, says AMG will respond to Audi’s 294kW hot hatch by besting its power output.
“You have to be at a certain level,” he says.
“We have to do something. And we’re going to do something.
“You have to achieve 400 horses, (300kW) that’s for sure.”
Mercedes-AMG redefined expectations with the original A45, a car that extracted 265kW from a heavily turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine. Now producing 280kW, Moers says the current car is “at the limit” of what its hardware can offer.
So his team committed to an all-new engine for the A45 – as well as its CLA45 and GLA45 siblings – likely to make it into a new model in 2019.
While it is possible Mercedes could follow Ford’s Focus RS by offering a drift mode in the next A45, Moers says there is “nothing confirmed” in that regard.
Mercedes is rumoured to reveal a concept version of its next-generation A-Class at next week’s Shanghai motor show – in a new four-door sedan body style.
While a successor to the existing car is “still a little while” away and it is “too early to talk about the details”, Moers says his team has been working on the next-generation car for some time, linked in with Mercedes’ passenger car arm from the start of the program.
“You have to be aligned really early so that you can put everything you want in the plan,” he says.
“We have a clear understanding what we have to do.”