In the past, if you wanted a hopped-up version of an A-Class Mercedes you’d have to talk to one of the many German tuners, like Brabus. But according to a new report Mercedes will develop its own high-performance version of the upcoming A-Class under the AMG brand. Targeting the Volkswagen Golf R, this new model is part of a larger plan by Mercedes to challenge VW’s dominance in the lower end of the segment, with several new A and B-Class models including hatchbacks, sedans and even a possible compact or sub-compact crossover.
According to AutoCar, the A-Class AMG model will use all-wheel drive (a new system being developed for the GLC crossover) as well as a supercharged 4-cylinder to make as much as 270-hp and even feature a dual-clutch transmission. That AWD system will reportedly have a rear-bias to deliver a more sporting feel to the small performance car.
AMG’s new boss, Ola Källenius, says the car will mark, “the beginning of a new direction for the company and will expose AMG to a whole new, younger and more dynamic customer base.”
Due out around 2012, Mercedes is expected to deliver the AMG version of its new A-Class first as a 5-door hatchback and later as a four-door coupe, possibly called the CLC and designed to mimic the style of the larger CLS. This mode would then be brought to North America to slot in underneath the C-Class in Mercedes’ lineup.