Rate It: The 421-Horsepower AMG Hot Hatch

For those in the U.S., "Mercedes-AMG" and "hot hatch" usually don't go together in the same sentence (the AMG E63 S Wagon doesn't really count since it's a wagon), but in some very lucky parts of the world, the A 45 S AMG 4MATIC+ begs to differ.

Sure, we do get AMG trims for the A-Class Sedan and CLA Coupe, but neither can be had with the face-melting, 421-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder found in the A 45 S. In that spec, the roughly 3500-pound AMG hatchback has a zero-to-60 time of less than 4 seconds.

Of course, all of that comes at AMG prices: an A 45 S starts at 61,820.50 euro, or about $73,200. To put that into perspective, a brand-new 2021 Corvette C8 starts at $59,995.

At any rate, in the world of hot hatches, is this AMG the hottest of the bunch, or is the price to enter just a little too steep?

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Comments
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Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports Reader
9/3/20 10:46 a.m.

I would very much like one....but probably would never buy one with my own money

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
9/3/20 10:48 a.m.

Love it.  Can't throw my kids in the back of a Corvette so this is a better option if I want to share a spirited drive with the family.

Probably wouldn't spend this much though when I can do the same for half as much with a Golf R.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/3/20 3:02 p.m.

Hot engine in a small, cheap, light car?  Bueno!  But the formula breaks down when the price skyrockets and the weight bloats.  I don't find expensive hatchbacks appealing. 

There's a 2017 AMG GT Coupe with 17K miles listed for the same price at a local dealer.  Guess which car I'd rather have?

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/3/20 3:43 p.m.

3500lbs? Really? Is the turbo made of lead?

Saron81
Saron81 HalfDork
9/3/20 3:46 p.m.
bobzilla said:

3500lbs? Really? Is the turbo made of lead?

No AWD hot hatch/rally rep is much lighter.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/3/20 3:48 p.m.
Saron81 said:
bobzilla said:

3500lbs? Really? Is the turbo made of lead?

No AWD hot hatch/rally rep is much lighter.

I consider 400-500lbs a lot lighter. The Type R is 3100 and the Veloster N is 3000. No, neither of those have 400hp but most turbo 4 cars don't. 

Saron81
Saron81 HalfDork
9/3/20 3:49 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

They're also not AWD. 
I don't disagree that they're all heavy, but that goes with the territory these days, and it's not out of line with the competition.

AMG Benzes are also not known for being low on options/luxury which all adds weight. 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
9/3/20 4:01 p.m.

Is the c8 vette going to be everyone's "to put that in perspective" vehicle from now until eternity?

They literally share no relation whatsoever. The S class Benz is really expensive too compared to a c8 vette. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/3/20 4:16 p.m.

In reply to Olemiss540 :

I see what you're getting at, and I'll admit it's not a perfect comparison.

How about comparing it to an Audi RS3? It's also a small-ish German performance car with a 0-60 time of less than four seconds. According to Audi, it starts at around $56,200.

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
9/3/20 4:22 p.m.

Golf R doesn't weigh 3500lbs

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
9/3/20 4:56 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

And I mean it with all due respect. Just seemed like an out of place comparo is all. 

Yes, RS3 or any performance hot hatch (especially from a luxury brand) seems like a good comparo.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
9/3/20 5:39 p.m.

That's a lot of money but it's also a lot of cool. Too bad it won't come to the states and depreciate in no time. Like others have said you can get a used AMG GT for that price now. 

chandler
chandler PowerDork
9/3/20 6:07 p.m.
docwyte said:

Golf R doesn't weigh 3500lbs

3373? Not that far off

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/3/20 7:39 p.m.

Seems like a Golf R with enough tune/bolt-ons to make similar power would probably cost half as much and perform just as well.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Benz is pretty cool. But $75k for a hot hatch? Meh. I'd rather have an E-class AMG wagon. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
9/3/20 9:10 p.m.

It would be a cool sleeper if you have money to burn and you take off the giant Benz logo on the grill.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
9/3/20 11:36 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

They make many pops and bangs with the factory exhaust and ecu, it will never be a sleeper. It's an adult focus RS that won't break, but the bill from the Benz for routine maintenance will be the same as the Ford dealership for the new headgasket. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/4/20 6:30 a.m.

In reply to Saron81 :

Ahhh... I missed the AWD part. Never mind. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
9/4/20 11:34 a.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

Seems like a Golf R with enough tune/bolt-ons to make similar power would probably cost half as much and perform just as well.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Benz is pretty cool. But $75k for a hot hatch? Meh. I'd rather have an E-class AMG wagon. 

Don't forget that Golf R clutch either while making those upgrades. 

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/4/20 12:28 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

There's one of the older gen of these things around here and it makes amazing noises and looks almost as stupid as a civic R.

Based on my neighborhood, I'd say its competitors are the RS3 and the M3 sedan. 40-y-o doctors with young families and a desire for flash.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
9/4/20 12:45 p.m.

In reply to Dave M (Forum Supporter) :

I've also said that they're an adult Evo, made of granite. I honestly love them. Definitely RS3 competitor for sure. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
9/4/20 1:03 p.m.
Dave M (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

There's one of the older gen of these things around here and it makes amazing noises and looks almost as stupid as a civic R.

Based on my neighborhood, I'd say its competitors are the RS3 and the M3 sedan. 40-y-o doctors with young families and a desire for flash.

You've just explained the South Bay of Los Angeles. M3/4s, RS3s, RS5s, X3Ms, Raptors, you name it AMGs, and every Porsche under the sun. Then there's me with a E36 M3box sequoia 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/4/20 1:31 p.m.

Would drive. 

Vajingo
Vajingo New Reader
9/4/20 1:36 p.m.

LOL. 3500 pounds and hatchback should not go in the same sentence. If they knock 1000 pounds off that car, they can go with a lighter engine and output and still have an extremely fun ride at a lower price point

STM317
STM317 UberDork
9/4/20 3:34 p.m.

In reply to Vajingo :

Yeah, and you know for-profit enterprises are always trying to sell things at a lower price point!

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/4/20 4:40 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Would drive. 

Would hoon? Would hoon.

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
9/5/20 12:18 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

For under $4000 a Golf R can make 450hp.  Comparing new to new, you'll still have $35k left over.  More as the Benz base price is $75k, once you've added a few options you want it'll be over $80k easily.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
9/5/20 2:01 p.m.

The real question is would you buy a 50k mile one that's 4 years old for $35k or buy a new Golf R. Because that's the real question applicable to the bulk of these idiots.

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) MegaDork
9/5/20 6:37 p.m.

Didn't we get something like this from Benz over here before?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/5/20 6:47 p.m.
DirtyBird222 said:
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

Seems like a Golf R with enough tune/bolt-ons to make similar power would probably cost half as much and perform just as well.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Benz is pretty cool. But $75k for a hot hatch? Meh. I'd rather have an E-class AMG wagon. 

Don't forget that Golf R clutch either while making those upgrades. 

isn't clutch upgrade pretty much a given when doing major power-adders?

That said, I put 150k on the OEM clutch on a 290whp WRX, so maybe I just actually know how to drive a manual lol. 

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
9/6/20 8:53 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Yes, yes it is.  When you're going from a factory 290hp to 450hp, a clutch upgrade will be needed.  Quite a few of my previous cars clutches have held silly power, even tho they were stock, but others can't.  The R clutch can't handle stage 2 power, or stage 2+ (ethanol blend tune) power.

I'd only buy a used AMG for $35k if it came CPO.  The Benz CPO program is garbage, it's only 1 year of coverage and then you have to pay something like $4-5000 for another 2 years of coverage.  I looked into it when I was interested in an E63 AMG wagon, which is a car I won't own out of warranty.  A friend has one, bought it with 14k miles on it.  By the time he had 20k miles on it, the dealer had done $20,000 (!!!) worth of warranty work on it.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
9/6/20 9:26 a.m.

It looks nice, but are the head bolts gonna hold up?

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
9/6/20 10:30 a.m.

My policy on AMGs: You don't *buy* one. You *lease* one.

Also, they can literally FLY if you properly "find the limit."

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