A few months back, word began to spread that AMG is working on a performance version of one of Mercedes' smallest cars. If true, it would not only mean giving the hi-po treatment to a segment hitherto untouched by the gents at Affalterbach, it could entail swapping a front-wheel drive hatch for a RWD platform. A month later, this small car's benchmarks were found out: the Golf R, Audi S3 and BMW 1 Series. And a month after that the rumors began to coalesce around the B-Class as AMG's subject of choice.

It turns out that the A-Class will be the first in line for an AMG makeover and the Ford Focus RS is also one of its targets. The diminutive Benz will get a four-cylinder, direct-injection engine with a pressure-wave supercharger that's looking at an output of somewhere around 270 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That gumption will reportedly get to the wheels through a dual-clutch gearbox and then navigate yet more clutches in the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system.

A two-car line-up is planned: a five-door hatch and a CLS-like sedan. But we won't see any of this until 2012 or so, when the next-generation A-Class arrives. And the U.S. is only expected to get the sedan version, which will wear the name CLC, salvaged from the C-Class sport coupe that ended production not a moment too soon.

[Source: Autocar]