The launch of the A45 AMG marked Mercedes-Benz's first real assault on the premium hot hatch segment. And with 355 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbo four, it is indeed hot. But the latest word has it that Mercedes-AMG is planning an even hotter version.
Volkswagen may have paved the way for American customers to get used to the idea of German cars produced in Mexico, but it won't be the only one for long. BMW is said to be considering production of the 1 Series, 3 Series and Mini south of the border, Audi is working on its own factory in San Jose Chiapa, and now Mercedes-Benz is reported to be following suit as well. Only instead of building its own plant, Daimler is tipped to use a Nissan factory in Aguascalientes.
Mercedes-Benz has been profiting mightily from compact cars recently. Its Kecskemét, Hungary, factory added a third shift to keep up with demand, and company's US arm called the CLA-Class, its "best launch in 20 years." However, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche says the Mercedes brand won't be getting any smaller, subcompact models; they will be reserved for the Smart brand.
Mercedes-Benz is continuing to see heavy demand for its compact models, like the CLA-Class, around the world, and Daimler has responded by adding a third shift at its Kecskemét, Hungary, factory starting in May. The plant, which builds the B-Class and CLA-Class, was already running two shifts and some Saturdays to keep up with their popularity, according to Bloomberg.
We're told it takes "performance, control and expression" to pilot a longboard skateboard down a mountain road, and that those happen to be the same values embodied in the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG. That's how the two came to be combined in a black-and-white short film called Silver Slipstream.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show a couple of weeks ago, Mercedes-Benz showcased a concept racecar based on the CLA. But it looks like its hatchback counterpart will be turning its wheels in anger before the four-door coupe gets a chance.
That didn't take long. Shortly after a French administrative court gave the French government a ten-day window to reconsider its ban on registrations of Mercedes-Benz A-, B- and CLA-Class cars using the prohibited R134a refrigerant, the government cited an EU directive to formalize banning the sale of the cars. The country's environmental ministry said that registrations "will remain forbidden in France as long as the company does not to conform to European regulations," meaning so long as they
Mercedes-Benz seems to be expecting a lot of success from its front-wheel-drive CLA-Class. Automotive News is reporting that the sub-C-Class sedan could grow when its second generation arrives in 2018.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz – please, please, please bring the M135i and A45 AMG hatchbacks to North America. For as long as we can remember, buyers in the New World have been forced to look longingly at Europe and Great Britain and the excellent super hatches that are so routinely offered there. And while we're quite content with the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen GTI, having a 360-horse five-door with a premium, content-rich interior sounds quite nice.
United States customers desiring one of the new smaller AMG models from Mercedes-Benz will really enjoy their 2014 CLA45. It's swift, authoritative, more alive in your hands than any other AMG model has ever been, and it's the only compact practical AMG you'll ever be able to get anyway.
We've gotten various peeks at the Mercedes-Benz A-Class for a few months now, from the patent drawings to spy shots to QR-coded teasers. Then, of all things in all places, a cyclist with a handlebar-mounted camera gets a full-on shot of the real deal while riding in Lanzarote, Spain for what we assume is a photo or video shoot.
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