Mercedes AMG

Cars may not be allowed in gyms but if they were, the Mercedes A45 AMG would most definitely be in the weights room bench-pressing 400+ pounds. Packing more punch than a wound up Mike Tyson, do not be fooled by its small frame – the A45 AMG is undoubtedly one of the world's most powerful hatchbacks.

Styling

For a car built around performance the A45 AMG certainly doesn't lack in the looks departments. Sporty 18-inch alloys, rear spoiler and front splitter complement the muscular body while inside, bucket seats with red trim (a nice colour touch extended to the seat belt and air vents) and a carbon-fibre-effect dashboard brimming with electronics only add to its charm.

Performance

and drive The A45 AMG's power comes from its four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged engine giving it a maximum output of 355bhp and more oomph than the base Porsche 911. Four-wheel drive coupled with the seven-speed dual-clutch paddleshift transmission means the 62mph benchmark is hit in about the same times it takes to glance in the rear-view mirror and see that look of momentary terror change to one of subtle smugness – 4.6 seconds to be exact. A three stage ESP system means the driver can switch between 'on', 'sport' and if you're feeling particularly handy and there's maybe a racetrack nearby 'off', while the gearbox's Race Start mode means when the lights go green, you'll be gone.

Efficiency

Economy has certainly not been sacrificed for the AMG's high-performance engine with the twin-scroll turbocharger and adaptive system meaning it will average 40.9mpg with Co2 emissions at 161g/km.

The Mercedes A45 AMG maybe wouldn't last 12 rounds with Iron Mike (just in case he's reading) but it does deliver a knockout blow to a hatchback division craving something that little bit special.