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The Mercedes-AMG range is set to expand exponentially on the back of the launch of a revamped range of smaller models from the German performance specialist.
Currently, Mercedes-Benz offers a handful of small cars: the A-Class, B-Class, CLA-Class ‘Coupe’ (sedan) and ‘Shooting Brake’ (wagon) and the GLA small SUV – but that range is going to balloon to eight models within the next two years.
That means unrivalled potential for the hardcore arm of the company, Mercedes-AMG, to offer a range of sporty models.
Tobias Moers, head of Mercedes-AMG, confirmed to Australian media at the 2018 Geneva motor show that the brand will have its way with “seven of the eight” models to come.
He further clarified exactly what he meant by that, stating there would be two AMG versions of each – the 35 and the 45. We’re yet to see that arrangement in the brand’s ranks, but you can think of those models as similar to the 43 and 63 – the lower the digits, the less intimidating and powerful the car.
Moers suggested that the only one set to miss out on the AMG treatment would be the B-Class model, a pseudo-MPV that attracts a conservative, older buyer.
But, aside from the B-Class, what is up for grabs by AMG is the portfolio of four existing models, plus – apparently – three more.
Two of the other ones are all-but set in stone: the A-Class will come as a sedan, and there will be a boxier GLB small SUVas well. Perhaps there’s space for yet another SUV in there as well…
Moers confirmed there will be some markets that will take all seven AMG-fettled small cars, and that Australia would be one of them.
It is expected that the next-generation 45 models will use a totally new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with about 300kW of power – setting a new benchmark for a four-cylinder.
“It’s going to be 400-plus horsepower,” Moers said – that works out to 298kW. The engine is almost certain to feature an electric turbocharger as well as conventional turbine tech.
“What we are doing for the next generation is we’re engineering a brand new engine, a 2.0-litre engine that is everything new – nothing in common with the [existing engine],” he explained. “We’re developing a brand new engine that is capable of 400-plus horsepower. But that doesn’t make sense unless you have driving dynamics equal.”
Moers indicated that the new model won’t just be the most powerful four-cylinder, but it will also offer new dynamism in terms of its handling.
“Power output is nothing without the driving dynamics which is able to follow the power output,” he said.
The new model is almost certain to have a form of AMG’s ‘4Matic+’ variable all-wheel drive system, including a drift mode setting – like that seen in the Ford Focus RS.
We should see the all-new Mercedes-AMG A45 either late this year, or early next.
This article originally appeared on CarsGuide.
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