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Responding to the mailed fist hot hatches unleashed by Audi and BMW, Mercedes-Benz, through its AMG division, has announced its intention to release its challenger to the Audi A3 and BMW M-modified 1-series.
The AMG division will release a 320 hp 3rd-gen A-Klasse in 2012, the
power coming from a turbocharged 2-liter inline 4. A preview of the car
will be on the stand at the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show.
Using Mercedes’ MFA architecture for its platform, the hot A-Class
will sport a rear-biased Haldex all-wheel-drive system, with the rear
axle controlled by an electronically operated torque-vectoring clutch.
The powertrain is expected to be a multivalve all-aluminum engine with a
twin-scroll turbo coupled to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
As Mercedes’ hot hatch will be the latecomer in the game, it will be
interesting to see how the hot A-Class will fare against the 8-minute
lap established by the BMW 1M at the Nurburgring. Interesting times for
this segment of the industry.