Giving the Audi RS3 Sedan a run for its money

It took Mercedes-Benz exactly one year to turn the Concept A Sedan into a production model, but now that it’s here as the A-Class L Sedan, the compact four-door is ready to spawn at least three new models. With the long wheelbase version launched in China, a regular sedan is set to break cover for global markets later in 2018, while a sportier AMG A35 variant was already spied testing on public roads. Naturally, a range-topping AMG A45 Sedan model will follow in 2019 to give the Audi RS3 Sedan some competition in the United States.

While the AMG A45 Sedan has yet to hit public roads as a test car, it’s arrival is imminent. And thanks to a rendering provided by X-Tomi Design, we already know how it’s going to look on the outside. If the previous AMG A45 hatchback is any indication, the beefed-up sedan should have close to 400 horsepower and sports car-like acceleration. Let’s find out more about its performance and features in the speculative review.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan Exterior

  • Sporty front bumper
  • Revised front grille
  • New side skirts
  • Carbon-fiber mirror caps
  • Aggressive diffuser
  • Quad exhaust pipes
  • Trunk lid spoiler
  • Lightweight wheels
2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan
- image 779019
The bumper will get more aggressive side intakes with black slats and black surrounds

Although we have yet to see a camouflaged prototype of the AMG A45 Sedan on public roads, the car’s design isn’t much of a mystery. We already know how that standard model looks like and we’re very familiar with the specific features that Merc adds to its souped-up models.

All these features are included in this rendering made by X-Tomi Designs, which includes a revised grille and a redesigned front bumper. The grille retains the shape and size of the standard model, but the diamond background will be replaced by a fine honeycomb mesh on the AMG model. The horizontal stripe that runs from one side of the grille to the other will get black trim in the middle and a small "AMG" badge.

The rear fascia will gain a sportier design too, mainly thanks to a spoiler atop the deck lid and a more aggressive diffuser

Down below, the bumper will get more aggressive side intakes with black slats and black surrounds. A pair of small canards will probably be added toward the front wheels. The center vent will have a revised layout for improved aerodynamics, while the standard, body-colored splitter will be replaced by a larger unit made from carbon-fiber.

The profile will get mild revisions such as new side skirts with black trim, black window frames, and black mirror caps, likely from carbon-fiber. Mercedes will also add new multi-spoke wheels wrapped in low profile tires. The new lightweight wheels will be available in black and chrome paired with larger, red-painted brake calipers.

The rear fascia will gain a sportier design too, mainly thanks to a spoiler atop the deck lid, revised vents in the bumper, and a more aggressive diffuser with a quad-exhaust pipe layout. The AMG package will also come with a couple of exclusive colors and a range of options not available on the regular A-Class Sedan.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan Interior

  • 10.25-inch displays
  • MBUX infotainment
  • Sports seats
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Leather upholstery
  • Carbon-fiber trim
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class L Sedan Interior
- image 778346
Inside you’ll find Merc’s MBUX infotainment system
w\ 2 10-25-inch displays
The new A-Class is also packed with the latest technology out there

The long wheelbase A-Class Sedan unveiled in China in April 2018 confirmed that the four-door is identical to the hatchback model on the inside, so the AMG version will get the same features. This is great news for the customers, as the new A-Class is not only a gorgeous place to spend time in, but it’s also packed with the latest technology out there. The RS3 Sedan is nothing to sneeze at, but the A-Class is the more modern car and features many technologies that you can’t find anywhere else in this segment.

The compact sedan borrows quite a lot from bigger Mercedes models like the CLS and S-Class, starting with the wing-shaped, multi-tier dashboard with turbine-style A/C vents at the corners. The center stack is also familiar, boasting the same turbine vents and a clean, high-tech design. The instrument cluster and infotainment display have the same layout as in the larger Mercs. The main difference is that the displays are not placed under the same hood, but they’re still connected to each other creating the impression of a really long screen that stretches over half of the dashboard. Both screens should measure 10.25 inches in the AMG model, just like in the range-topping version of the standard sedan.

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- image 764940
Expect it to get a flat-bottom steering wheel and a pair of sportier seats for the driver and front passenger

The AMG variant will also get the new ambient lighting system with 64 colors and the brand-new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. The latter is a segment-first feature and has the ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence. It can also be customized through augmented reality technology and intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition. The Multicontour Seat package with massage function for the front seats, yet another first in this segment, could be included as standard equipped.

Moving over to AMG-specific features that will set this sedan apart from the standard model, expect it to get a flat-bottom steering wheel and a pair of sportier seats for the driver and front passenger. Mercedes could offer more aggressive, race-inspired seats too, but only as an option. Although the leather and Alcantara upholstery will be black, look for contrast stitching on the seats, door panels, and dashboard, as well as aluminum and carbon-fiber trim.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan Performance

  • Revised four-cylinder engine
  • Two output ratings
  • More than 400 horsepower
  • 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds
  • Optional top speed at 174 mph
  • Dual-clutch transmission
2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan
- image 779020
The hatchback's upgraded 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will generate 383 horsepower

The AMG-prepped sedan will most likely share drivetrain components with the hatchback model. The latter has yet to be launched, and we don’t know much about its engine, but there is confirmation that the AMG A45 will feature an updated version of the previous turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. We already know that the A250 model benefits from 224 horsepower and that the AMG A35 comes with 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet, so it’s safe to assume that the AMG A45 will generate significantly more than that.

Actually, we have the previous AMG A45 hatchback to use as a benchmark. Launched with 355 horsepower and 332 pound-feet in 2013, the A45 was upgraded to a solid 376 horses and 350 pound-feet in 2015. There’s no official info as to how much power will the new A45 arrive with, but Autocar found out that the hatchback’s upgraded 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will generate 383 horsepower. That’s only a seven-horsepower increase, but the lighter and stiffer platform will make a big difference.

However, Mercedes also plans to offer a more powerful version with the A45 S badge, just like it does with the larger C-Class, E-Class, and S-Class models. This hatchback will generate 416 horsepower, an extra 40 horses compared to the outgoing model.

The AMG A45 S model will deliver 416 horsepower, an extra 40 horses compared to the outgoing model

Already the most powerful production car with a four-cylinder engine, the AMG A45 will become even more extreme. It will also boast an even more impressive horsepower-per-liter ratio. While the old hatchback is impressive enough at 187.5 horses per liter, which puts it on par with the Bugatti Chiron, the new S model will have 208 horses per liter. That’s 64 more than the AMG GT R sports car, powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8.

The new AMG A45 S will also deliver more power than its rivals. Now the most powerful hot-hatch on the market, the Audi RS3 features a 2.5-liter five-cylinder mill rated at 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet. The A45 S will deliver an extra 16 horsepower. Also, Mercedes’ hatchback will have a bit more oomph than the BMW M2, which cranks out 405 horsepower thanks to a 3.0-liter inline-six engine.

No word on whether the previous seven-speed DCT transmission will be replaced with a brand-new unit, but rest assured that it will be built by AMG and it will provide quicker shifts than ever before. The extra oomph, the lighter body, and the revised transmission should enable the sedan to hit 62 mph around two tenths quicker than the previous hatchback. Expect it to get there in around 4.2 seconds. In the U.S., the sprint to 60 mph should take 4.1 clicks. The S model will probably be a tenth or two quicker. Top speed will be limited to 155 mph as usual, but Mercedes might offer an option to increase it to 174 mph. A similar option is available for the Audi RS3 Sedan, so Merc might want to match that for similar performance ratings.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan Safety

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- image 764918

The AMG A45 will get its safety package from the standard A-Class hatchback, so it’s safe to say that it will be one of the most modern vehicles in its class in terms of safety features. The five-door model comes with an impressive array of active and passive systems, starting with the car’s ability to keep a close eye on the traffic with an improved camera and radar systems that allow it to see up to 500 meters (0.3 miles) ahead. The use of navigation data and the Active Distance Assist Distronic system give the sedan semi-autonomous capability, a unique feature in this class.

The AMG A45 will also include Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, and Active Brake Assist as standard. The Pre-Safe Plus, borrowed from larger models, will be offered as an option. Passive features will include airbags for the driver and front passenger, a driver’s kneebag, and window airbags on both sides as standard. The latter also covers the A-pillar, yet another benchmark for this segment. Thorax-pelvis side bags are standard in the front and optional for the rear passenger compartment.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan Pricing

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan
- image 779019

Pricing information for the AMG A45 Sedan is obviously not available, and with the standard four-door still a few months away from its U.S. launch; it’s difficult to predict a sticker. However, it’s safe to assume that it will be priced in the same range as the Audi RS3 Sedan, so look for a price tag anywhere between $53,000 to $57,000.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan Competition

Audi RS3 Sedan

2018 Audi RS3 Sedan High Resolution Exterior
- image 690338

The compact premium sedan is still poorly represented globally, with just the Audi A3 Sedan available in Europe and the U.S. BMW has already launched a sedan version of the 1 Series Sedan, but the German four-door is only available in China at the moment. Unlike BMW, Audi offers performance-oriented versions of the A3, with the RS3 Sedan sitting at the top of the range. The compact sedan was introduced in 2017, so it benefits from Audi’s most recent design language with more angular styling cues. Redesigned, more aggressive bumper, a honeycomb grille, a lowered ride height, and a sporty diffuser set the RS3 apart from the standard model. The beefed-up sedan takes its juice from a twin-turbo, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine borrowed from the TT-RS. The unit is rated at 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, enabling the sedan to hit 60 mph in only 3.9 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph as standard, but it can be raised to 174 mph optionally. Pricing for the German sedan starts from $54,900.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi RS3 Sedan.

BMW 1M Sedan

2018 BMW 1M Sedan High Resolution Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 683521

The 1 Series Sedan is sold in China only as of May 2018, but it could soon become a global vehicle. If it happens, BMW will most likely develop an M version as well. And given that Mercedes is also jumping on the performance bandwagon with the AMG A45 Sedan, BMW will surely come up with a beefed-up version of the 1 Series Sedan for global consumption in 2019. As usual, the 1 Series Sedan will get a range of M parts inside and out. The exterior will become significantly more aggressive, while the cabin will get a flat-bottom steering wheel and aluminum and carbon-fiber trim. Under the hood, the 1M will get its juice from the twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine offered in a range of compact Bimmers, including the M2 and M3. The recently unveiled M2 Competition comes with 404 horsepower and 406 pound-feet on tap, which would be enough for BMW to give both the RS3 and AMG A45 a run for their money. Pricing will be north of $50,000 obviously.

Read our speculative story on the 2019 BMW 1M Sedan.

Final Thoughts

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan
- image 778960

It’s obviously too early to draw a conclusion, but judging by what we’ve seen in the A-Class hatchback and the China-spec sedan, the AMG A45 Sedan should be a blast to drive. The semi-autonomous and safety features will also make it the most advanced vehicle in its segment, while the classy interior and the premium appointments will appeal to customers who love the big Mercs but can’t afford one. While it might slow down sales of the next-generation AMG CLA45, the AMG A45 has the looks and the gear to become a big seller in the United States.

  • Leave it
    • Still a year away
    • Might slow down sales of the CLA model


2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan Exterior Spyshots
- image 765520

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

2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class L Sedan Exterior
- image 778337
The new Mercedes A-Class is here
And it’s got a coupe-style roof to go with a short decklid

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class L Sedan.

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior
- image 764932

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

- image 743625

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