• The 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S is a lot quicker than the old AMG A45, but is it better?

New and old Mercedes AMG A45s head to head battle

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Mercedes recently revealed the all-new 2020 AMG A45 S, a model that builds on the qualities of its predecessor but offers better performance, more tech, and a more modern look. If you read the press blurb for the new top tier A-Class hot hatch, it all points to the fact that it’s so much better than the car it replaces, but what we want to know is if all of it stands true in the real world and, if so, by how much. This video published by carwow aims to answer all of those questions (and more), since it pits the two generations of A45 against one another in order to specifically measure their performance.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 vs 2019 Mercedes-AMG A45

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S is a lot quicker than the old AMG A45, but is it better? Exterior
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The first-gen A45 is motivated by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder that puts out 376 horsepower and 475 Nm (350 pound-feet) of torque, good for a claimed sprint time to 100 km/h (62 mph) of 4.2 seconds. Top speed is rated at 250 km/h (155 mph) for the regular A45 and 270 km/h (167 mph) for the A45S.

The new A45 is quicker still, especially if it’s the A45S, which comes with a 415 horsepower / 500 Nm (368 pound-foot) four-pot turbo - it slashes the benchmark sprint time to 3.9 seconds. Its top speed is 250 km/h (155 mph) and, since there is no S version, this is as fast as it will go in stock form.

Mercedes-AMG A45 - old vs new
Previous Mercedes-AMG A45 New Mercedes AMG A45
Engine 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder
Horsepower 376 HP 415 HP
Torque 350 LB-FT 368 LB-FT
0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) 4.2 seconds 3.9 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph 155 mph

In the real world, there is no contest when it comes to acceleration. The A45S leaves the old A45 for dead, maybe even to a greater extent than the power difference would suggest. The new car also has a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that shifts even quicker and has better ratio spacing (and by better I mean it increases the car’s rate of acceleration compared to the old A45’s seven-speed, twin-clutch, self-shifter).

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Exterior
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The weight difference between them doesn’t play a huge role here, since the new car is only marginally lighter than the one it replaces - 1,550 kilograms (3,417 pounds) versus 1,555 kilograms (3,428 pounds).

Around the corners, the new A45 is helped by the torque-vectoring and the limited-slip differential it has between the rear wheels. It can send up to 50-percent of its power to the rear, which can, in turn, be fully shifted to one tire or the other. This is said to have a dramatic effect when it comes to improving cornering capability, plus it also grants the new A45 a drift mode that the old car doesn’t have.

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S is a lot quicker than the old AMG A45, but is it better? Exterior
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The new car also unquestionably looks better than the old car. The old A45 is really starting to show its age when it comes to design - I’d even go so far as to say it’s not aging very well, and this is especially evident when it’s parked next to its much sleeker and more modern replacement. One area where the old car is better than the new one is when it comes to its exhaust note. Sure, both cars have fake exhaust tips, but the old A45’s exhaust note a lot more rasp to it and it pops a lot more on the overrun; it makes driving it feel like a bit more of an occasion, even if it is noticeably slower than the new car.

Mercedes-AMG A45 - old vs new
New Mercedes-AMG A45 Old Mercedes-AMG A45
Wheelbase mm 2729 2699
Track, front/rear mm 1597/1558 1557/1561
Overall length mm 4445 4367
Overall width mm 1850 1780
Overall height mm 1407 1417
Engine 2.0-litre 4 in-line with roller bearing twinscroll turbocharger 2.0-litre 4 in-line
Displacement 1991 cc 1991 cc
Max. output 310 kW (421 hp) at 6750 rpm 376 HP @ 6000 rpm
Peak torque 500 Nm at 5000-5250 rpm 350 lb-ft @ 2250-5000 rpm

Further reading

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S is a lot quicker than the old AMG A45, but is it better? Exterior
- image 848107

Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45.

2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 Exterior
- image 796015

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG A35.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Unveiled with 300 HP and Four-Door Coupe Luxury Exterior
- image 834347

Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Exterior
- image 813008

Read our in-depth review of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior
- image 764956

Read our full review on the next generation 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG High Resolution Exterior
- image 492695

Read our full review on the previous 2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG.

Andrei Nedelea
Andrei Nedelea
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