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Hot A-Class has been spied on the road, as Mercedes reveals official details on its Audi RS3 rival

The newest, and smallest member of the AMG family has been snapped on the road wearing precious little disguise. Now confirmed as the A45 AMG, the hot-hatch will take the fight to the BMW 135i and Audi RS3.

Look beyond cladding and you can see a jutting front bumper, as well as chunky side sills and a lower ride height. At the rear a bigger bumper and a set of twin tailpipes are just visible through the camouflage.

At the same time as these pictures were being taken, Mercedes was busy revealing official details on the A45 at a special event in Affalterbach celebrating AMG's 45th anniversary.

As expected the enging will be a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, with 321bhp making it the most power per litre capacity of any mainstream production engine in the world. The handbuilt engine will feature a twin-scroll turbo and an innovative induction system to help reduce lag and sharpen throttle response.

Maximum torque will be well over 400Nm and sent to all four wheels via a Haldex system capable of diverting almost 100 per cent of it to the rear when required. Maximum torque will arrive as low as 2,000rpm and continue all the way to 5,000rpm, and with a total weight of roughly 1,500kg, the 0-62mph time should be in the region of five seconds.

Prices for the A45 AMG are yet to be revealed, but expect to pay around £35,000 when it goes on sale later this year.

AMG also announced that it will introduce another eight new cars over the next five years, three of which will be based on the A Class family, with each new model lighter than the one it replaces. By 2017 it expects to boost annual sales from the current figure of 20,000 to over 30,000 units.
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