Mercedes-AMG A45 review New Zealand
Anger is a normal healthy response to the likes of threat or frustration and when used ‘constructively’ it can give you that little boost of energy needed to handle a multitude of situations. However, it’s the constructively part that needs the control and management. Anger is an emotional state that varies between mild irritations to insane fury –the more the ‘red mist’ overwhelms you, the more extreme your anger. Unchecked – the result is increased heart rate and blood pressure (to boiling point) and your adrenaline and noradrenaline levels explode. The things that ‘trigger’ your anger vary from person to person and even; day to day (things that you were fine with yesterday may irritate you today). These outside influencers cannot be controlled – therefore the goal of anger management is managing how YOU react to them.
The moment you step inside the cabin of Mercedes-AMG new A 45 you see red. Red seatbelts, red stitching, red instrument dials, red trim, black Red Cut leather you can even set the interior lighting colour to red – all in all; there’s enough red to anger any mild tempered bull.
Slap bang in the middle of the centre console is its anger management switch. It’s a small dial that varies the car’s temperament, from soft to hard, from passive(ish) to downright rabidly snarling.
In ‘C’ for comfort, the AMG A45 is quiet and mild-mannered. The drive is smooth (not velvety but definitely liveable), the exhaust note is tamed and the gear changing is contained to low revs.
In true anger management scale, the next level is a quick flick of the button on the dash that opens the valves on the exhaust – the result is not performance driven more demonstrative, the AMG A 45 is raising its voice so to speak.
Twist the dial to Sport, and things move up a notch – steering, throttle response, gear changing and exhaust all play their part in the car’s more aggressive response. It’s clearly agitated and has a point to prove. On the road it’s more agile and nippier and yells a little to other cars that hold it up.
If you feel brave enough to push the AMG further (by turning the dial to Sports +), you really make it angry. It spits and backfires as it rev matches on deceleration and screams loudly as it accelerates up. Shift changing is fast and precise and cornering is brutal. The suspension is hard but not yet jaw-breakingly so. In Sports + the driver’s seat is a special place to be, you want to race others and as well you should. (I embarrassed a younger member of society in his modified car – leaving it way back in the rear view mirror).
And then there’s Race mode – think men with white coats and straight jackets, think Animal from the Muppets. Let the games begin. Race mode throws all rules out of the window. Gear changing ‘below red line’ is for wimps, lane changing is done by merely glancing at the wheel and backbones are checked at the door.
Restrained under the bonnet is a 2L, turbocharged powerhouse that produces 280kW’s and a huge 475Nm to its all-wheel-drive system. Top speed is 270kph and 100kph will jump out at you in 4.2 seconds but surprisingly (with the 7-speed AMG Speedshift box) it will give you 7.3L/100k’s efficiency.
A COMMAND online 8” TFT colour display gives you all the information you need, including the engine dynamics – I still enjoy watching the power and torque needles go from agitated to through the roof. Harman Kardon supply the sound through 12 speakers, sound which needs to be up LOUD if you are anywhere near RACE mode.
From the outside, this sporty hatch could be passed over as just another A Class (if it wasn’t for the AMG badge, 19”Cross-spoke Alloys, Blackened beltline, tailpipes, front splitter, Sill panel inserts and rear apron) Ok – so it’s not your average A Class at all!
The Mercedes AMG A 45 is a car that can be your daily driver for most of the time and yet will happily take you through the wide range of emotions you experience as you go about your general life. It’s calm and comforting, roomy enough for city life and great to take on a long run. It will offer plenty of pep to blow off a little steam and plenty of noise should you want to grab attention. And then there’s Race mode. Race mode is seriously crazy but after a hard day at work, placating bosses and clients alike, Race mode in the AMG A 45 is by far one of best the Anger Management therapy tools you can get!
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