The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG will be cheaper than Audi RS3 when it launches in 2013, a source from AMG told Auto Express.
Mercedes’ all-wheel drive hot-hatch will start from less than £40,000 (€49,950) when it goes on sale next summer, Tobias Moers, head of product development at AMG told the magazine. “Our target is to sell it for less than 50,000 Euro. We want it to cost slightly less than the Audi RS3,” Moers was quoted as saying by Auto Express.
The 340hp 4WD RS3 is no longer being produced, but Audi is likely to build a new version based on the freshly launched third-generation A3. Until then however, the A45 AMG’s biggest rival will be BMW’s RWD 320hp M135i. The Merc will have some trouble justifying its price though, as the M135i starts from £29,995 pounds (€37,500).
However, with its four-wheel drive system and around 350 horsepower under the bonnet, the A45 AMG should become the king of premium hot-hatches. According to Moers, the 0 to 100 km/h sprint is expected to take just 4.5 seconds, a tenth of a second faster than the Audi RS3.
Naturally, the A45 AMG had its fair share of Nurburgring development testing, so Mercedes expects it to behave like a proper AMG model. Moers suggested the car’s lap time on Nurburgring was better than BMW’s 1 Series M Coupe.