While we're patiently waiting for Mercedes-AMG to take the wraps off its Audi S3-rivaling A35, the talented folks based in Affalterbach are also working on a new A45. Believed to be promoted to the A50 nameplate, the hottest of the compact hot hatches from Daimler was seen this week roaming the streets of Germany with slightly less camouflage than before.
How do we know it's the A45 replacement and not the first-ever A35? Aside from the obvious quad exhaust tips, the prototype has bigger wheels and appears to be riding substantially closer to the road. Not only that, but the familiar grid pattern of the front camouflage leads us to believe the RS3 competitor was hiding the Panamericana grille reserved for the top dog AMGs.
Mercedes through the voice of AMG's boss, Tobias Moers, has been kind enough to disclose a great deal of juicy specs concerning the new A45. While the aforementioned Golf R-rivaling A35 has been confirmed with "around 300 hp," the hotter derivative of the new-gen A-Class hatchback will up the power ante to more than 400 hp thanks to a newly developed turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
AMG wants to set a new benchmark among hot hatches with the next A45 and will give it a new 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Aside from offering it as a five-door hatchback, Mercedes will sell the A45 as a sedan based on the upcoming A-Class Sedan, which will likely spawn an A35 variant as well. Rumor has it a further development of the A45 will benefit from a hybrid powertrain with even more punch, but we'll believe it when we'll see it.
Meanwhile, the next-generation A45 will be out before the end of the decade, following the world reveal of the A35 in the latter half of 2018 or early 2019.