Executives at Mercedes-Benz have set forth one key goal for the upcoming A25 AMG hot hatch: it must be more powerful than both the 335-hp Audi RS3 Sportback and the upcoming 316-hp BMW M135i. To help meet that goal, Mercedes has entrusted development of the new mill to its U.K.-based High Performance Engines division.
HPE primarily builds Formula 1 racing engines for the Mercedes GP Petronas, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and Force India F1 teams. In fact, the new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four AMG engine is reportedly based off designs that HPE had for a four-cylinder Formula 1 engine -- the street-car engine will use the same seven-millimeter cylinder walls and 90-millimeter bore spacing of the F1 mill.
The new 2.0-liter engine will probably produce about 340 hp -- enough to outmuscle the aforementioned Audi RS3 and the BMW M135i. We had previously heard that the A25 would offer around 250 hp, which would have put the AMG at a serious disadvantage against those European competitors.
The AMG turbo engine will use direct fuel injection as well as a twin-scroll turbocharger to boost power. Other information suggests the A25 will get a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive. In addition to debuting in the go-fast A25 AMG, the new engine will be used in the forthcoming CLC-class sedan and wagon.
The next-generation Mercedes A-Class (pictured) debuts at the Geneva Motor Show in March, but the hot AMG version probably won't be announced until some time later. When it does, we'll see just how much more performance the compact hatchback offers than its German rivals.