The downsizing trend is really catching on, even with Mercedes-Benz and its traditionally big-engined high-performance arm. Specific numbers for the high-performance A-Class model dubbed the A45 AMG are not out, but engine bosses tell us to expect around 370 hp and 300 pound-feet of torque. The engine is all-new: a twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter called M133 and based loosely on the Daimler 2.0-liter turbocharged unit. If those figures are accurate, that would mean the M133 has the greatest true series-production power-per-liter rating in the world… the little 45 AMGs will all come with all-wheel drive, and we don’t intend a full-on 4Matic treatment. It is aidsed instead by a hang-on rear differential. But you can switch off completely the ESP and have a solid Sport rear bias. The challenge for all this dynamically will be the projected 60-percent of total weight resting over the front axle, 60 percent of around 3,300 pounds. Redline on the tach is currently shown at 6,300 rpm, so we’ll almost certainly be wishing it were left to go higher when we test it. The center transmission lever of all AMG models is there as well, which is a much finer interface for us than the civilian trim steering column lever-ette. AMG folks say that there is a good chance that there will also be an optional Driver Package that will let the top speed go to 174 miles per hour versus the stock 155 mph. Pricing is said to be competitive with a BMW M135i or where an RS3 could end up. AMG is planning that from creating the three versions of the new compact lineup – hatch, sedan, and crossover – by 2017 and the 50th anniversary of AMG that total annual volumes will climb from today’s 20,000+ units to 30,000+. (Autoblog)