We spoke with AMG head Tobias Moers at the New York Auto Show, and he has us quite excited for the upcoming Mercedes-AMG A 45 and its derivatives. First off, he confirmed that it will produce about 420 horsepower, with the number varying depending on U.S. and European units of power. The number had been rumored earlier, but this is our first official confirmation.

This powerhouse of an engine will be bolted up to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, rather than the seven-speed unit used in the A 35 and CLA 35. Additionally, Moers said the all-wheel-drive system is different to the 35 series of cars, though he didn’t say specifically how. He also said the all-wheel-drive system “doesn’t know what understeer means,” obviously highlighting that it won’t feel like a front-drive or front-drive-based car. That’s been partly hinted at in the teaser videos of the car’s drift mode.

Fortunately, we don’t have long to wait for the ultimate Mercedes compact, as Moers said the car will launch this year. He confirmed that there will be A 45 hatchback, CLA 45 sedan and GLA 45 crossover variants. He wouldn’t confirm whether there would be an A 45 sedan version, though. Regardless of body style, we’re excited for this mad Merc.

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