IT’S A bronze medal for Mercedes-AMG’s heavy-hitting hot hatch, but what the A45’s third place outright proves is that, even at $80K, it’s got the bang to back up its not-inconsiderable-buck.
As we touched upon when chronicling the A45’s crushing of the $50K-$100K class, it’s achieved all these things despite being penalised for having standard equipment that is otherwise optional overseas. A standard sunroof? If stuff like this was optional – gear that contributes nothing to the A45’s performance – and we were working with a lower starting price, we can only imagine just how the Bang 2016 result might have looked.
It’s also interesting to note that while launched in 2013, for mostly unfortunate circumstances the A45 was not able to participate in Bang 2014 and 2015. Again, we can only imagine how the result might’ve looked if the planets did align, given the double champ Fiesta ST has finished sixth outright this year - quite a bit behind AMG’s hyper hatch.
But for now though, we will celebrate an outstanding performance car which is dishing up great value from Merc’s mad scientists at AMG. We love its dummy-proof launch control. We love how it feels like a fish in water on track. And we love how the new adaptive dampers, on road, turn the A45 into a weekend-only proposition into something you could drive daily.
Yeah, it’s one car where you definitely take the good with the bad. It’s still quite a hard-edged device, the dual-clutch isn’t the best around and it’s a broadly serious thing. Your mates in Renault Sport Meganes or Ford Focus RSs could be having more fun on track, even if you are very likely lapping them.
But, given its debut performance at Bang, we can no longer confidently include price on that list of criticisms. It might be the third step of the podium outright today, but the Mercedes-AMG A45 is absolutely built of the stuff that makes a Bang For Your Bucks winner.
Want more? Check out the rest of 2016 Bang For Your Bucks.