You’ll get what you pay for with this tuning kit

It’s hard to believe that the Mercedes A-Class was three generations in before Mercedes decided it was a good idea to wring up a hot rod version for the hatchback. But it did when it presented the A45 AMG back in 2013. It was a long time in the making and in the three years since, the A45 AMG has already been subjected to a rebrand – it’s now called the Mercedes-AMG A45 – and an update. That’s not to say that the car has failed to live up to expectations because it has, or at least it has in the context of it turning into an aftermarket darling where tuners like Brabus, Vath, and Posaidon have already built specific programs for it.

This time though, hot hatch tuner extraordinaire Speed-Buster takes center stage and it has what might be considered one of the best “value-for-money” tuning kits for the AMG A45. It’s true because the only thing the tuner is offering is its Chiptuning plug-and-play module. That’s it. No exterior upgrades, no dressed-up interiors, and certainly no fancy wheels. But it does have that engine upgrade, and for what it’s worth both literally and figuratively, it definitely lives up to its part by giving the AMG A45 a stout increase in power and performance.

But the real question is this: does Speed-Buster’s program equate to a better value than what rivals Brabus, Vath, and Posaidon have offered? That answer might depend on your perspective. Just know that with this kit, you’re guaranteed to get exactly what you pay for it.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG A45 by Speed-Buster.

Exterior

2016 Mercedes-AMG A45 by Speed-Buster High Resolution Exterior
- image 694873

As nice as it would have been for Speed-Buster to create an aftermarket package for the AMG A45’s exterior, we’re don’t get anything of note from the tuner. It’s not that bad though because past programs for the AMG A45 have not provided extensive upgrades on this end too. Brabus’ 2014 kit for the hot hatch came with some aerodynamic bits, most notably new bumpers and a new rear wing, and a new set of two-tone, monoblock, alloy wheels, but it still didn’t significantly alter the overall appearance of the AMG A45. Same with Posaidon, unless of course you count the tacky decals of the tuner’s name that were all over the doors of the hot hatch.

Competition Comparison: Posaidon and Brabus programs pictured here

2016 Mercedes-AMG A45 RS485+ By Posaidon High Resolution Exterior Press Releases
- image 683857
2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG by Brabus Exterior
- image 547275

Interior

2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG Interior
- image 492687

Note: Standard Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG interior shown here.

It’s the same story with the AMG A45’s interior, although to be fair to Speed-Buster, it’s far from the only tuner to ignore the cabin of the hatch. Posaidon stayed away too, as did Vath and Brabus. In fact, even old kits from the likes of McChip didn’t do any upgrades on the interior of the previous model, the A45 AMG. Maybe it’s their way of telling owners that if they want to get some flashy bling on the cabin of the AMG A45, it might be best to go directly to AMG’s Performance Studio. After all, they’re the ones responsible for “Erika.” Remember that matte black and pink beauty?

Drivetrain

It’s probably clear to most of you by now that Speed-Buster’s program for the Mercedes-AMG A45 is all about the hot hatch’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. And so here we are. It’s worth noting that Speedbuster is using its multi-channel Chiptuning-Box for this program. It’s the same module that the tuner has used in the past, not surprisingly to a pair of other other hot hatchbacks, namely the Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport and the Alfa Romeo Giulia. The objective remains the same for the AMG A45 and it’s a pretty straightforward one at that given the module’s plug-and-play characteristics. Just slap on the module, connect it to the engine’s software system and wait for the extra for the extra 50 horsepower to come out. That additional power adds up to give the AMG A45’s turbo-four engine an output of 431 horsepower and 431 pound-feet of torque.

2016 Mercedes-AMG A45 by Speed-Buster High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 694875
The objective remains the same for the AMG A45 and it’s a pretty straightforward one at that given the module’s plug-and-play characteristics.

It doesn’t compare favorably to Posaidon’s program for the same car because that one came with a ball-bearing race turbocharger, bespoke turbines, impeller wheels, and a gas-flowed scroll housing to go with improvements to the air intake system and the use of a higher higher boost pressure. The result of all those upgrades is a stout 500 horsepower and an electronically limited 409 pound-feet of torque, significantly more than the numbers Speed-Buster was able to coax out of the car.

Other Posaidon’s R485+ kit, Speed-Buster’s program lines up very well against past programs developed by Brabus and Vath. Brabus, for instance, only gave the hot hatch its PowerXtra electronic kit while Vath’s own engine upgrade was made up of a combination of "engine augmentation and optimized engine electronics."

Check out this brief recap of the power gains achieved by these tuners for the Mercedes-AMG A45

Tuner Horsepower Torque 0-to-60 Time Top Speed
Speed-Buster 431 431 pound-feet 4.0 seconds (estimate) 180 mph (estimate)
Posaidon 500 409 pound-feet 3.5 seconds 196 mph
Vath (A 45 AMG model) 425 350 pound-feet 4.2 seconds 174 mph
Brabus (A 45 AMG model) 400 369 pound-feet 4.2 seconds 170 mph (estimate)

Pricing

The good thing about Speed-Buster’s program is that by nature of the simple plug-and-play engine tune, the whole thing only costs €999, or roughly around $1,100 based on current exchange rates. You can even throw in an extra €50 ($54.70), and you can avail of the smartphone app that allows you remotely control the Chiptuning box. I get it that a lot of tuners don’t release pricing information for their programs, but you’d be hard pressed to find a kit that comes in at the price that Speed-Buster is offering.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG A45 by Brabus

2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG by Brabus Exterior
- image 547275

In addition to Posaidon’s RS485+ program for the AMG A45, a slew of other aftermarket tuners have built programs for Merc’s resident pocket rocket, including two of the most famous Mercedes tuners in the world. One of these two is Brabus, which is considered as one of the foremost authorities in aftermarket Mercs. Needless to say, the German tuner prepared a program for the AMG A45 back in 2014 that fits its status. There are number of elements to that program, but the most noteworthy is the PowerXtra electronic kit that Brabus prepared specifically for the AMG A45. The name itself implies extra power and that’s exactly what Brabus did, giving the AMG A45’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine a new output of 400 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The final number is lower than what Speedbuster and Posaidon are offering, but it’s still good enough to the hot hatch’s sprint-to-60-mph time by 0.2 seconds compared to the standard model.

Read more about the Mercedes-AMG A45 by Brabus here.

Mercedes-AMG A45 by Vath

2014 Mercedes A45 AMG by Vaeth Exterior
- image 561980

Not content with two competitors for the Speedbuster tune? That’s ok because we can take a gander at Vath’s own program for the AMG A45. Like Brabus, this one was presented back in 2014 when the hot hatch still packed 360 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. The output has since been increased to 381 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, but the German tuner’s upgrades still ring out a total output of 425 ponies and 350 pound-feet of twist. That’s an impressive number and Vath made sure it translated to performance times too as the hot hatch is now capable of hitting 60 mph from an idle position in just 4.2 seconds to go with a top speed of 174 mph.

Find out more about the Mercedes-AMG A45 by Vath here.

Conclusion

2016 Mercedes-AMG A45 by Speed-Buster High Resolution Exterior
- image 694874

Speed-Buster’s kit is worth looking into, especially if you’re in the market for a cheap engine tune for your hot hatch. There are no frills about it either. Just buy the item, plug it in, and enjoy it. I’d say that’s a good deal if you’re only spending a little over $1,000 for it.

  • Leave it
    • * Not much to offer
    • * Other tuners have more variety
    • * Bland from a cosmetic standpoint
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: