We recently got a ride in a prototype of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, and while the car pictured is likely mechanically identical to the white model we encountered last month, this turbocharged, all-wheel-drive compact beast looks stunning finished in a more vibrant yellow -- and who doesn’t like bright yellow hatchbacks? Though it’s been on sale in Europe for some time now, the front-drive A-Class has been kept from our shores. That may soon change, as Mercedes-Benz is likely planning to introduce the pint-sized three-pointed star model to U.S. audiences starting with the current generation. If that’s the case, there’s hope that the performance-oriented car pictured above may come stateside. As we said previously, the A45 AMG sports a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 producing 350 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. That engine transmits power to all four wheels through a specially tuned 4Matic all-wheel drive system, which can direct as much as 60 percent of the car’s thrust to the rear wheels. In our ride with the A45, this rear-wheel bias was apparent in corners when stability control was turned off, as power oversteer was easy to induce. Official acceleration numbers have yet to be announced, but Mercedes estimates 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds. Even if the A-Class doesn’t make it across the pond, there’s still hope for a quick Mercedes compact: the turbocharged all-wheel-drive 2.0-liter drivetrain is slated to appear in the U.S.-market CLA45 AMG sedan in 2014.
Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand pricesubscribe