The new Mercedes-AMG compact A 45 S 4MATIC+

The new Mercedes-AMG compact A 45 S 4MATIC+. Image: Supplied

Mercedes-AMG reveal: A new powerful dash of A-class

The latest compact super sports cars from the Mercedes-AMG stable have landed in South Africa. The South African met the potent duo at Zwartkops Raceway.

The new Mercedes-AMG compact A 45 S 4MATIC+

The new Mercedes-AMG compact A 45 S 4MATIC+. Image: Supplied

The Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic and AMG A 45 4Matic set the standard to be measured by. Combining the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine with AMGs subdued aggressiveness, these cars will have hot hatch owners running for cover.

I am an old-fashioned guy. I believe that if you have a Rolex strapped to your wrist, it should be a real Rolex and not something that has emerged from the depths of a trader’s pocket on a street corner.

Nothing like the real thing

The same applies to cars: A replica will always be a replica. For this reason, I often mutter about a person’s manhood when I hear Ferrari-like tones erupting from a wimpy car’s exhaust pipe. I mean, who are those guys kidding?

There’s no substitute for the real thing, but if you are happy to keep your budget intact by ignoring an AMG Mercedes and prefer to use YouTube to show you how to use a Pringles can to make your car sound hot, that’s ultimately up to you.  

Respect: The Mercedes AMG A-class

What this is leading to is my recent introduction at the Zwartkops Raceway media launch to the Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic and AMG A 45 4Matic models — cars that are the genuine article.

If you drive one of the aforementioned wimpy cars and an AMG A 35 or AMG  A45  pulls up next to you, my advice is that you stick on an indicator and quietly crawl around the corner. 

The Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic. Image: Supplied

There are several reasons why the two AMG A-class cars should be treated with respect.

The exterior styling of the A 35 and A 45 are all that you would expect from AMG. The styling provides that touch of subdued, sleek aggressiveness that sets AMG apart.

Ultimately, they have mastered the art of being able to send warning signals about a car’s capabilities while it is standing still. (If you drive a Pringle Special, it is something you ignore at your own peril).

World’s most potent four-cylinder production cars

The transversely mounted 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is the world’s most potent four-cylinder plant. Rated at 225kW and 400Nm of torque in the AMG A35 it provides enough oomph to push the car from 0 to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds.

Upgrade to the AMG A 45, and 0 to 100 km/h mark will be achieved in 4 seconds, with the engine developing 285kW and 480Nm.

Smooth changes that flash by

The seven-speed and eight-speed transmissions (A 45) provide smooth changes that flash by as the cars pick up speed. The dual-clutch transmission provides those kick-in-the-back starts when you use the race start function or the sport modes.

The 4Matic in the model descriptions refers to the all-wheel-drive system, which can alter the drive torque distribution between full front-wheel drive and a 50:50 split between the axles. It is a sophisticated setup that takes information and distributes it and at the rear, can send 100% to either wheel.

Popping into drift mode limits the torque to the front axle. Getting out of that sideways attitude requires nothing more than pointing the nose of the car where you want to go.

‘Pure AMG’ cabin comforts

Inside the car is pure AMG. From the seats to the instrument cluster, the cockpit reminds you that this is a driver’s car, that is designed to be wholeheartedly enjoyed.

For someone more used to prosaic and basic instrument cluster layouts, the multimedia systems, the instrument clusters and the AMG performance steering wheel would be enough to keep me happily entertained for several hours without leaving the driveway.  


As with all good things in South Africa, there is a price to be paid. 

Prices range from R841 000 for the AMG A 35 4Matic to R1 101 000 for the AMG A 45 4Matic. 

But, putting some perspective on the bill, this is an offering that is going to appeal to the A-segment who have the resources and income required to have one of these (or a pair) parked in the garage. 

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the disastrous impact this has had on new car sales across the board, there is no doubt that these two new offerings are going to sell. Whether they have the impact they had internationally, where they doubled sales expectations, remains to be seen. 

For those who can’t even think about it, revert to the Pringles plan.