Upcoming A-Class Hot Hatch A Serious S3 & 1-Series M Competitor

Emmanuel P April 20, 2011

After years of watching Audi and BMW corner the segment for small road rockets, Mercedes and AMG are planning to steal the thunder from those S3s and 1-Series Ms with a hot A-class that will boast 350 horsepower. Mercedes unveiled a preview just before the opening of the Shanghai Motor Show. This unveiling was aimed squarely at the German manufacturer’s key target market, China. Compared to the staid design of the standard A-Class, the preview of this hot hatch makes even BMW’s 1-Series M look staid. And with the rumored 350 horsepower mill, it will surely leave competitors straining to keep pace.

If the rumor mills are correct, it will also have high performance all-wheel drive, like its other target hot hatch, the Audi S3. This kind of drivetrain is suited for the anticipated power, and is easy for Mercedes to do as the new A-Class will be based on the same platform as a new diminutive 4×4 vehicle. Mercedes senior designer Mark Fetherston has confirmed that 85 percent of what you see will be carried over to the production model, which is expected to make its appearance in 2013.

Edit: We mistakenly reported that the A-Class AMG version would compete against the Audi S4 and BMW M3. We’ve made the corrections and apologize for not only confusing people, but downright embarrassing ourselves.

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Comments (5)

  1. S4 is not a hot hatch, is it? And it is Benz’s C-class which competes against S4 and M3, no need to shoot over the top with your articles.

  2. M3?


    Surely the C63 AMG coupe is the BIG threat to the M3, where the hell does a hot A Class come into the equation??

    lol, funny read though.

  3. No, the S4 is a sedan (although there was an S4 Avant previously); this may have been alluding to the S-Line package on the A3?

    And while a ‘hot hatch’ from MB is certainly welcome, I’d frankly be far more interested in there being “ANY hatch” from them in the US Market, although with the caveat that it needs to have a non-insane price point. Afterall, if it ends up north of $40K, I’d just assume go buy a Porsche instead.

    FWIW, what I’d find far more interesting would be to put the MB BluTek diesel in the car, although I’m afraid that USA EPA laws are probably blocking that again…they should make a petition to the current Administration that they’ve been manipulated into being far too protectionist (again).


  4. You guys are right, Emmanuel was referring to the S3 and 1-Series M when he wrote this article.

    There is just no way the A-Class AMG version could compete against and S4 and M3; that’s what the C63 AMG does

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