The trouble is that while AMG has a wealth of experience boring out big engines, the small sort of mills capable of fitting under the hood of something as compact as the A-Class is outside its realm of expertise. Fortunately, Mercedes has another division that thrives on getting the most out of compact powerplants.
That division is Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines, the Northamptonshire, England-based firm formerly known as Ilmor that constructs the F1 engines for McLaren, Force India and Mercedes' own F1 team. It happened to have been run by Ola Kallenius until he switched over to AMG. Although HPE has until now been operated largely as a stand-alone business, Mercedes has been integrating it into its broader operations, and this – according to reports – could be the first road-car project on which it's called to work.
Until recently, F1 was expecting to switch to small, turbocharged four-cylinder engines, leading HPE to work on such a unit. Since that was scrapped in favor of a V6, the development work is reportedly being applied instead to a new high-output engine for the AMG A-Class.
Tipped to be called the A25 AMG, the veritable hot hatch is targeting the 335-horsepower Audi RS3, only is expected to carry even more power. The engine is also expected to find its way into the new CLC25 AMG, which bodes well for the B-Class-based four-door coupe and shooting brake.