We were summarily impressed with the A3 sedan when we attended its press introduction in San Francisco a year ago. Since then, Audi dealers have had trouble keeping the little sedan on their lots as demand for the entry-entry-luxury segment ramps up. In order to broaden the A3 line, as well as go head-to-head with other small, high-performance German offerings such as the BMW M235i and Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG, Audi rolled out the S3 sedan – a more heavily pressurized and tightly suspended version of the previous 2.0 TFSI range-topper. So is this simply a Golf R in evening wear, or a legitimate successor to the performance Quattro throne? Read on to find out.
Tag - mercedes-benz
Despite being around since 2012, we’ve yet to lay hands on a current-generation Mercedes-Benz ML. There’s no time like the present, especially with model changes (including a new name) just around the corner in 2016…
Much has been made of the German Big Three’s move toward the mainstream in terms of price; at no time in history has one of these luxury marques been more attainable by the non-wealthy (in the US at least). But most of the opinions voiced in the press have been somewhat negative, at least from a purist’s perspective. “What’s the point of an aspirational brand if any middle management type can afford one”, they argue. We spent a week with the CLA250 in the hopes we could separate the editorial banter from the car underneath.
In a car industry flush with new luxury categories, the one that seems to present the most room for growth is the one at the small end of the spectrum – the “Premium A-segment”, filled with cars like the A3 seen here, the Mercedes-Benz CLA, and the BMW 1-/2-series. Audi of America’s President, Scott Keogh, told the group of journalists gathered in northern California for the press introduction of the A3 1.8 and 2.0T sedans that he saw 400% growth potential in the segment over the next few years. That’s serious headroom, and if these first new A3 models to hit our shores are any indication, a place where torrid competition will be taking place among manufacturers.
As an enormous fan of the original 2010 W212 generation E-class, I was more than a little worried when the introduction of a 2014 facelift was first announced during last year’s Detroit auto show. After all, the W212 was considered, by many in addition to me, to be perhaps the best-looking Benz sedan of the modern era. Why mess with success? As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. Because while the rectangular quad headlights and the sedan’s throwback ponton-style rear fender flares are now gone, an extremely cohesive and simply handsome car remains in place.
Mercedes-Benz has announced the hot rod version of the new A-class compact with the inevitable AMG A45, which will make its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next month. Mercedes say that the A45 AMG is the highest output turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in the world in a production car with 360-horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. Power is delivered to the road by way of the AMG-tuned 4MATIC AWD system. This level of grip provided by the 4MATIC system results in a 0-100km/h time of just 4.6 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes also say that the A45 AMG has fuel consumption of just 6.9 liters per 100 kilometer, and that it already complies with the EU6 emissions standards. Pretty slick, even if we doubt that a hatchback version will ever make it to this side of the pond.
Photo gallery and Mercedes-Benz PR after the jump.