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Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is the current leader in the super hatch world when it comes to outright performance. It's powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine which produces 355 bhp and 332 lb /ft of torque which coupled with all-wheel-drive and launch control, will get the A45 AMG from 0 - 62 mph in a neck-snapping 4.6 seconds and onto a top speed of 155 mph. Just to put that into context, an Audi RS4 Avant which has Quattro all-wheel-drive will only complete the 0 - 62 mph sprint in 4.7 seconds. Now that's fast.
Power is sent to all four wheels through an upgraded version of the A250's seven-speed automatic gearbox. It's slick to use and bangs through the gears, although it's not as responsive or smooth as the DSG gearbox you will find in the Leon Cupra, Golf R, or Audi S3. This is noticeable when driving hard on a country road where engine braking and downshifts play a large role in corner entry and exit speeds. It's perfectly satisfactory during 90% of driving, though, and the A45 AMG's character is largely defined by the engine which really is a work of art.
The A45 AMG might be too much money for most, though. Prices start from an eye-watering £38,195 and although it'll beat the other super hatches here today in a straight line race, it's arguably not the most balanced machine of the bunch. If it were my money, I'd buy the BMW M135i for driving thrills or the Seat Leon Cupra for bargain motoring.
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