Mercedes CLA45 & GLA45 AMG: Upgraded Pocket Rockets

The A45 AMG: the meanest hatchback the world has ever seen

The A45 AMG: the meanest hatchback the world has ever seen

When Mercedes made the decision to produce full-blown AMG models powered by little four-cylinder engines, the engineers knew they'd need to extract every last horsepower they could from the little 2-liter powerplant. They did well in that regard, and with the release of the A45 AMG, Mercedes had the most powerful production four-banger in the world. The minute engine was capable of an impressive 345 horsepower, giving the A45 (as well as the CLA45 and GLA45 that shared the same platform) the ability to accelerate rather quickly. But then, of course, another German manufacturer had to step in and spoil their fun. With the introduction of the new RS3, Audi had their own hatchback which was even more powerful than the already-quick A45, producing a not-too-shabby 362 horsepower. However, the folks in Affalterbach weren't exactly content with second place, and recently revealed an updated version of their A45 hyper-hatch, now capable of a whopping 381 horsepower. Now, shortly after the reveal of the revised A45, Mercedes has announced that the upgraded engine will make its way to the rest of the cars on the same platform, meaning both the CLA45 and GLA45 AMG will now be an even bigger performance bargain than before.

The GLA45 AMG: perfect for taking the kids to school (at 158 miles per hour)

The GLA45 AMG: perfect for taking the kids to school (at 158 miles per hour)

381 horsepower. 350 lb ft. These are some of the numbers that give you a sense of what the CLA45 and GLA45 will be capable of. All that power and torque will be sent to all four wheels (thanks to Merc's 4-MATIC system) via a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. With this wonderful setup, the CLA45 AMG will be capable of reaching 60 miles per hour from zero in an astonishing 4.2 seconds, with the GLA45 only taking 0.2 seconds longer. That's quick enough to beat a Ferrari Testarossa off the line, a pretty impressive achievement for a range of small sedans, hatchbacks and mini-SUVs.

The CLA45 AMG: sleek, stylish, and ready to conquer your favorite road

The CLA45 AMG: sleek, stylish, and ready to conquer your favorite road

Aside from the engine, the A45, CLA45 and GLA45 remain pretty much unchanged with this update, so expect the same AWD grip and comfortable refinement that Mercedes-Benz is known for. So, if you're in the market for something small, reasonably priced (for what you're getting), and rapid enough to embarrass some sports cars, the wonderful people at AMG have a variety of options for you. Now if only they sold the A45 in the United States...