AMG – the three letters associated with Mercedes-Benz which get the adrenalin rushing. Originally, a small outfit specializing in tuning and upgrading Mercedes-Benz cars, AMG did such a good job that the carmaker decided to acquire it. This saw the start of a new sub-brand – Mercedes-AMG – just for high-performance models as well as a unit that could look after motorsports activities.
In earlier years, the Malaysian range was largely the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class. The establishment of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (known as DaimlerChrysler Malaysia) in the early 2000s saw a broadening of the range to include more models and more variants. Customers were happy to be able to buy from authorized dealerships because they could get not only a genuine warranty and aftersales support but also the premium experience.
The ever-widening range included AMG-badged models but these were AMG-line, fitted with accessories that enhanced the looks in a sportier way. The real Mercedes-AMG models – with boosted performance – were not available until recent years. In 2020, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) is offering a trio of Mercedes-AMG models from the A-Class (W177).
New CL45 S 4MATIC and A45 S 4MATIC
Topping the new range of Mercedes-AMG Compact Cars is the new A45 S 4MATIC+ and the CLA45 S 4MATIC+. Both cars have the most powerful volume-produced 4-cylinder turbocharged engine in the world. The output in the improved M139 engine is now raised to 421 bhp/500 Nm which gives the specific power output of 211 bhp/litre. That gives the A45S the capability to reach 100 km/h from standstill in a claimed 3.9 seconds.
Mercedes-AMG CLA45S 4MATIC
MERCEDES-AMG A45S 4MATIC
As with all engines that have the AMG badge on top of them, each engine is put together with the “One Man, One Engine” principle, and the future owner can see who that man was because the small plaque includes his name.
The noticeable change of the engine is the reversed mounting position of the engine whereby the exhaust manifold and turbocharger are now located at the rear with the intake system at the front. This results in several advantages, particularly in terms of aerodynamics. The modified position allows for a flat, more aerodynamic front design while concurrently optimizing the airflow in the engine compartment.
To reduce friction between the pistons and cylinders, the linings are coated using patented NANOSLIDE technology (developed by Daimler AG). This gives the linings a mirror-like surface for minimal friction, is twice as hard as conventional grey cast-iron liners and therefore makes them much more durable. The coating is also used in the Formula 1 engines of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Motorsport racing cars.
Together with an 8-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission, all-wheel drive gets the power flowing to the wheels efficiently onto the road. In the new rear axle differential is AMG TORQUE CONTROL which variably distributes power not only between the front and rear wheels but also selectively between the left and right rear wheels. Drift mode is available for those who want to enjoy powerslides.
The price for such superlative performance starts from RM448,888 for the CLA45 S and RM459,888 for the A45 S which comes as an Edition 1 package.
For those who want something dynamic and with the same adrenalin-boosting looks, there’s also the new A35 4MATIC hatchback priced from RM379,999 with the Edition 1 package. This comes with a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, also turbocharged, which is mated to the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G transmission. The output of 306 bhp/400 Nm gives the A35 4MATIC a claimed 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.7 seconds, still impressive. And with the AMG Performance 4MATIC variable all-wheel drive, stability and grip are assured even when taking the car to its limits.
The virtual race engineer
AMG TRACK PACE, the virtual race engineer, is available in all three models. The software is part of the MBUX infotainment system and when negotiating a race circuit, it continuously monitors more than 80 vehicle-specific data items (eg speed, acceleration, etc). On top of this, lap and sector times are displayed, as well as the respective difference from a reference time so a driver can have an idea how he is doing. The data can be used to analyse and help improve driving skills.