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Auto blogWed, 13 Feb 2013 12:30:00 EST
Fun coincidence. On the same day that Audi announces the unveiling of its new S3 Sportback at the Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz steals the spotlight by confirming that the all-new A45 AMG will also receive its official debut early next month. Starting life as the entry-level A-Class hatchback, the A45 AMG gets the full AMG treatment, which includes numerous performance, handling and styling upgrades.
Under the hood sits an AMG-tuned 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 breathing through a sport exhaust system helping the five-door produce 360 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired to a seven-speed AMG dual-clutch transmission and power is sent to the ground using 4Matic all-wheel drive. Mercedes-Benz says that the A45 AMG will be able to accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in under 4.5 seconds and it will have a top speed of 155 mph; in the land of hot hatches, it doesn't get much hotter than that. For added performance and handling, AMG has retuned the A-Class' suspension and steering systems and equipped The A45 with a three-stage stability control system that is specific to this car.
Surprisingly, the exterior styling of the A-Class was already sporty enough that the new model doesn't receive too many changes to become the A45 AMG. The biggest alterations include black accents to the chin spoiler, rocker panels and mirror caps, black wheels with red-painted brake calipers and rectangular dual exhaust outlets. Inside, it doesn't take a trained eye to spot the differences. The flat-bottomed sport steering wheel and the numerous red accents throughout the cabin (including the seatbelts!) really help to make this AMG interior stand out; front passengers will also get sport bucket seats that appear to be more than supportive enough for even the most spirited driving conditions.
If you have, like us, been salivating at the notion of a new generation of Maybach and Lagonda ultra-luxury crafts built by Aston Martin, we've got some bad news: According to reports emanating from Germany, talks between AML and Daimler have broken down.
The proposal under negotiation would have seen Daimler outsourcing production of the next family of Maybach models to Aston Martin, which in return would benefit from Mercedes-Benz platforms and engines - not only for its svelte GTs, but also for its own future Lagonda line of limousines and luxury SUVs. That, and a boatload of money - or at least that's what AML was reportedly seeking, an issue that served as the stumbling block over which the deal reportedly collapsed.
That's not to say the two parties couldn't still reach some sort of a compromise, but short of that, Daimler may opt to either shut down Maybach altogether, find another partner, or take another stab at building new models internally.
Take the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell, stretch it and take off the wheels then make it float and you've basically got the just-unveiled Cigarette AMG Electric Drive Concept. Powered by an all-electric powertrain that offers 2,200 horsepower and 2,213 pound-feet of torque (and uses "numerous components" taken from the not-quite-as-yellow SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive), the sleek concept is being called the "world's most powerful electric drive powerboat." What that means is a top speed of over 100 miles per hour from four 60-kWh lithium-ion batteries and two banks of six liquid-cooled, permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors. And the 240 kWh of total energy should provide plenty of juice out on the water.
Launched (but not literally) at the Miami International Boat Show today, the Cigarette AMG Electric Drive Concept is the result of a partnership between Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing. The boat is 38 feet long (much longer than the 15-foot SLS) and is plastered with AMG branding on the sides and top of the bow above the matte chrome yellow paint (officially called AMG Electricbeam mango). Two 220-kW chargers can refill the batteries, dockside, in about seven hours.
The idea of a powerful electric boat is nothing new (Henrik Fisker talked about a plug-in hybrid watercraft late last year), but this is the first time we've seen Mercedes put its EV technology on the water. Anyone who's afraid of driving an EV in the rain should take note. Check out the complete press release below.