Towards the end of June we saw Mercedes-Benz’s facelift for the A-Class hatchback, including the range-topping A45 AMG which now delivers a very impressive 381 bhp and 475 Nm of torque from its uprated four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. This seems to be the motor’s highest possible state of tune as Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias Moers has told Australian magazine Motoring the engine’s power cannot be increased anymore as this would affect reliability.
Instead, work has already commenced on a brand new engine to replace the current 2.0-liter unit and it is being developed by the engineers at Mercedes-AMG in a close partnership with Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you should know these are the same guys responsible for the turbocharged V6 1.6-liter engine that powers the Mercedes Formula 1 car and we all know how successful that has been in the past few years and also during the ongoing season.
The engineers have been highly praised for tweaking the ERS and KERS systems which could be adapted to a road-going car, specifically the next generation A45 AMG (CLA45 AMG and GLA45 AMG) which might get a downsized engine as the displacement is expected to decrease from the current 2.0 liters to 1.6 liters.
Interestingly, Tobias Moers said they have been toying around with the idea of implementing e-turbo technology in this new engine, but apparently that won’t happen as it would require more electrical power than the regular 12V system can support, so they would have to install additional batteries which obviously adds weight and complexity. They did experiment with an electric fan added to the turbo and did notice some improvements, but apparently these are not enough to make this change.
Expect to see the next generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class around 2018 which means the range-topping A45 AMG, CLA45 AMG, CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake and GLA45 AMG will likely be introduced in 2019.