Mid-cycle update on the way

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Engineers from Mercedes-Benz AMG have been spotted testing an updated version of the A 45 Hatchback.

No versions of Mercedes-Benz’s A-Class Hatchback are sold in the U.S. but some of the changes you see here are likely to filter across to the related CLA 45 sold locally.

Likewise, changes destined for an updated version of the regular A-Class Hatchback will likely flow on to the related A-Class sedan, CLA-Class and GLA-Class models. Note, the updated A-Class sedan won’t be sold in the U.S., as the nameplate bows out here after the 2022 model year.

2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG A 45 Hatchback facelift spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Looking at our spy shots of the updated A 45 Hatchback, we can spot new internals for the lights at both ends, as well as a revised grille and lower front fascia.

It isn’t clear what AMG has planned for the powertrain, but extra power to deal with new versions of the Audi RS 3 and BMW M2 may be a possibility. The A 45 is currently powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 rated at 382 hp in standard guise and 416 hp in S guise, but AMG last year revealed a version of this engine with an electrified turbocharger spitting out up to 442 hp. The engine has already made its way into AMG’s SL 43 and redesigned C 43.

The electrified turbo means a bigger compressor can be used, which results in more power without the usual turbo lag tradeoff. It uses an electric motor to quickly spool up the compressor at low revs so that charged air, also known as boost, is always on tap. The same technology is used in Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG E Performance electric exhaust-gas turbocharger

Mercedes-AMG E Performance electric exhaust-gas turbocharger

Considering the current A 45 in S guise will sprint to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds and reach speeds approaching 170 mph, a more powerful version should give dedicated sports cars a scare.

The rest of the A 45 Hatchback package should remain the same, meaning a standard 8-speed dual-clutch automatic and rear-biased all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system not only splits torque between the front and rear axles but also between the rear wheels thanks to a rear diff with two multi-plate clutches. This has allowed the AMG engineers to craft a Drift mode designed to make sideways action more controlled.

Look for the updated A-Class range, including this A 45 Hatchback, as well as the tamer A 35 Hatchback and sedan, to debut later in 2022. The cars should arrive as 2023 models. Note, this may end up being the last generation of the A-Class. The nameplate is reportedly on its way out after the current generation, together with the B-Class, as Mercedes looks to focus on more profitable high-end segments.

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