The last decade has seen a massive change in the world of hot hatches. Hot hatches are all about the practical and fun factor of a daily driver that can arouse your interest in driving from Point A to Point B. The benchmark of the mid 2000s was around the 200hp mark with the likes of the Golf GTI Mk5. But in 2013, the skunkworks at AMG decided to join into the bandwagon and double-up the ante and bringing in a new breed of Hyper Hatch with the W176 gen A45 AMG.

And moving forward now in 2020 – Mercedes-AMG is back at it again with the latest W177
generation A 45 S that we think will pave way for the coming decade for the world hyper hot
hatches. If you consider that a Ferrari 360 Modena in 2000 had 400bhp in 1999, now we can get more power than that from a 4 door hatch! The new A 45 S AMG is all about massive numbers and we got a quick time slot, courtesy of Mercedes Benz Malaysia and Cycle & Carriage Bintang Malaysia with the new A 45 S AMG Edition 1 Hyper Hatch to have a first impression review.

Under the hood is a brand new 2.0-litre Turbocharged engine coded M139 built by Mercedes-AMG and it produces a whopping 420bhp and 500nm rated output, delivered through an 8-Speed dual-clutch transmission and the new AMG 4MATIC+ AWD system. The 0-100km/h is dealt with in just 3.9 seconds and will accelerate all the way to a top speed of 270km/h from factory. Behind the wheel, the car feels absolutely relentless and linear in delivery; continuously pushing and never running out of puff from 4000rpm all the way to it’s redline which makes the mid-range power delivery, very interesting.

The new car of course is based on the underpinnings and body of the new W177 A-klasse, which is although bigger than previous car, it also weighs slightly lighter. However the most surprising part of the new car is the fact that overall, the chassis is a lot softer and more comfortable to drive. Especially in slow speeds, those familiar with the W176 generation will be able to tell the difference with the new car. This helps the overall feel of the car which we think many will appreciate, bringing back the European luxury and comfort matched with AMG’s performance DNA.

With the new AMG 4MATIC+ system – we discovered on the drive that the new W177 A 45 S feels a lot more nimble in its feet. The car feels a lot less nose heavy, unlike the W176 generation that felt a lot more FWD biased compared to this new car. Mercedes-AMG has reworked this car to be more balanced in the way it handles, with the ability to send all power to the rear wheels to ensure the car rotates and handles sharper in the corners. Steering response is sharp and accurate, giving confidence to those behind the wheel to place the car into the apex of tighter corners. Under quick directional changes, we adore that the car feels very light on it’s feet and grips without any sense of understeer push. Michelin tyres and 245 section tyres square all around also helps with the car’s overall balance.

If there are any major differences on the new AMG A 45 S, we would concur that the chassis and handling would be the most surprising improvement overall. The last car was firm verging on harsh, giving a more raw feel on the drive but this new car feels refined, yet delivering even better handling and performance on the go.

We only had 3 hours with the car, and all this was about a first quick experience with this new baby rocketship from AMG. We feel that the car is a huge leap ahead, moving the bar up against the rivals from the likes of Audi RS. If we consider the W176 A 45 AMG was a benchmark for the last decade, the this car indefinitely paves way for the next generation of pocket rockets. A good step up, but all comes at a cost – RM459,888.00 for this Edition 1 spec. Worth it? We leave it to you to decide but overall, we think it’s a rather epic package!

Watch the full first impression video review on our Youtube Channel now!

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Written By | Qhalis Najmi