In the car world, things have changed dramatically and swiftly because when I was growing up, which is about 17 years ago not 170, it wasn’t the top speed or the torque or the price or anything like that, it was the figure on the speedometer, while the car was stationary, that made all the difference. Subconsciously, we all knew that if the speedo had a theoretical maximum speed of 200 kph, the real top speed wasn’t going to be anywhere near that, but we didn’t care. The speedometer in my grandmother’s Fiat UNO, for instance, showed 160 kph (100 mph), but its actual top speed was around 120. Then my dad bought a Golf with 180 kph, which felt a little better, but my uncle had a VW Passat, 200 kph you see, and so on the rare occasions he would drive me around, I felt king of the road.
The inspirational dreams of a soon-to-be petrol-head / gear-head boy were shattered when this trend quickly changed, because while it is true that sometimes some compact city cars have a speedometer with a top speed of 240, it is also true that the Veyron has one that says 420. And that’s not being ambitious, that is pretty much its actual top speed.
Well, happily, the crazy engineers at AMG Mercedes gave me, and the world, the best Christmas present ever by equipping the AMG 45 A Class with a speedometer that tells you the car’s theoretical top speed is 320. Not far-fetched, actually, because while the A45 is limited to 250 kph (155 mph), like most cars these days, without the limiter the car would easily go near, and maybe past, 300 kph (186 mph).
Because this car is a bullet. It teleports from A to B and goes like a maniac. In a straight line, everything around you becomes a blur of lights and fog because it is just so damn quick.
Because it is so powerful and because this is still, after all, a hatchback the chaps at Mercedes AMG have given it 4 wheel drive, with the 4Matic all wheel drive in-house built system. It also has 3-stage ESP with ESP Curve Dynamic Assist and “ESP Sport Handling” mode, AMG sports suspension with independently developed front and rear axles and high-performance brakes. Now I don’t know if you speak “mechanicalese”, I don’t, but you need all that, especially the 4 wheel drive system, in a car like this. The A45 AMG comes with a 2-litre turbocharged engine which develops 381 HP, enough to launch it to 60 mph in 4,2 seconds. That’s supercar territory.
I’ve always loved AMG Mercedes cars because they go beyond the edge of reason. And then keep on going until the engine is absolutely ballistic, and the car bonkers.
The A 45 AMG trounces its competition because it has no competition. Technically this is the hot version of a compact hatch but you can’t compare it to anything else because no one else has ever put 381 HP in the production version of a C-Segment hatchback, and no one else made it so expensive. And it is wonderful. It goes like stink and it sounds like a drunken elephant that’s dubious about something. You can listen to it here ↓
The AMG A45 is the craziest car I’ve driven in 2016. Even thinking about it makes me happy. Speaking of happy. I hope you have happy Holidays and we’ll see you again in 2017.
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