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by Jay Traugott
Get ready for what could be the next German car battle.
Now that Mercedes-Benz is getting serious about the exclusive hatchback market with the recent introduction of the 2013 A-Class, it was all but inevitable that we'd soon hear about details regarding an AMG version. That day is today and Autocar has been given some exclusive details as to what we can expect to see on this luxury hot hatch when it launches in early 2013. In other words, one of the world's most exclusive automakers wants in on the hot hatch segment.
Said to be Mercedes' most affordable performance model yet, the A45 AMG will be going head-to-head with the likes of the Audi RS3 and the BMW M135i and will likely start at around £32,000 in the UK market. It will also be the first series production AMG model that'll feature a transversely mounted engine. More than likely, it'll be a tuned version of the automaker's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot that'll be in the A250 Sport. Compared to its German rivals, the RS3 has 335hp and 332lb-ft and the M135i has 316hp and 332lb-ft. After AMG works their magic, this turbo gasoline engine will produce around 330hp and with maximum torque above 295lb-ft.
Autocar is also reporting the A45 AMG will be equipped with a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox sending power to all four wheels. AMG, however, wants the car to have more of a rear-wheel-drive feel to it, so it'll be engineered for the torque to be delivered mainly to the rear wheels. Obviously it's a bit too early to get performance numbers, but sources indicate it'll hit 62 mph in about 5.1 seconds. As expected with all AMG models, the interior will also be given a significant upgrade with unique front sport seats and more upmarket features.