by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Product offensive - A 45 AMG: First high-performance vehicle built at Rastatt

Start of production for the first high-performance vehicle at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt: after the A-Class and B-Class, the first AMG model in the history of the factory has left the assembly left recently. "The A 45 AMG is the sportiest car that ever rolled off the line here. We are very proud to be constructing high-performance vehicles in Rastatt. The team has exemplary integrated the AMG model into the ongoing production of the A-Class. For us, this milestone marks the start of a new era at the Rastatt site," said Peter Wesp, Head of Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt.

In the development of the A 45 AMG, the experts from Affalterbach have contributed with their extensive experience in motorsport and the construction of powerful high-performance cars. Thus the A 45 AMG will receive the typical AMG DNA and the brand promise of "Driving Performance" perfectly embodied. This is ensured with the implementation of the AMG-specific powertrain with the performance-oriented all-wheel drive AMG 4MATIC, the AMG sports suspension with independent front and rear suspension and the exclusive interior and exterior features. The Rastatt team has smoothly integrated the production of the volumes of the A-Class AMG model together with the AMG counterparts so that the assembly line is shared with the standard A-Class model. The A 45 AMG boasts a maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp). With the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, it sets new standards in its segment. The acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes just 4.6 seconds, while top speed reaches 250 km/h (electronically limited). The high-performance hatchback is designed to appeal to new customers. The target group is between the ages of 30 and mid 40, which is a tad younger than the usual AMG customers.

The A 45 AMG is powered by an AMG 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which has been launched into production two weeks ago in the MDC engine plant in Kölleda. There, all BlueDirect four-cylinder engines for the A-Class and B-Class are built as well. Especially for the production of the new AMG engines, a new assembly line was set up at the plant according to the traditional AMG philosophy "one man, one engine". From now, the A 45 AMG can be ordered by clients. Starting June, the first units will be handed over to customers.

For the production of the new compact models in Rastatt, Daimler is investing 1.2 billion euros. 600 million euros were invested in a first stage, including the construction of a new body shop. A further 600 million euros follow in 2012 and 2013 for the second stage. These new investments will be including the reconstruction of the assembly line and the corresponding plant structure.

About the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt

The Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant employs about 6,500 people, making it the largest private employer in the region. In 2012, over 200,000 compact vehicles rolled off the assembly line at the site. The new generation of Mercedes-Benz premium compact cars will include, in addition to A-Class and B-Class, three sporty, emotional models, including a coupe and an SUV. The five models of the new compact car will be produced in the production network of the Rastatt plant, and from the end of March 2012, at the newly opened plant in Kecskemét, Hungary. Rastatt is the competence center for the production of the A-Class and B-Class. In late 2013, the compact SUV under the name GLA-Class will enter production stage here.

Credits: Daimler AG

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