Nobody creates a niche quite like Mercedes, and this time the latest member of the AMG family comes available in two varieties; the Mercedes A45 AMG hatchback and the CLA 45 AMG four-door coupe. Both are mechanically identical and offer fuel economy of over 40mpg.
AMG models are famous for sounding outrageous, and around the track, the A-Class really lives up to its name. The engine is a four cylinder 2.0-litre turbo with 355bhp- that's the most powerful engine per litre of any production car in the world.
There's lots of grip too, thanks to the four-wheel drive transferring power to the rear when necessary. However, the throttle isn't quite as adjustable as, say, a rear-wheel drive BMW M135i. The gear box is an improvement on the standard car, but it is a little confused in auto mode, making VW's DSG equivalent better overall.
As with the standard car, the CLA is still a brittle ride, and the stiffer springs with the AMG don't help this. But, on the open roads the car really starts to show off.
In the end, it's a tough call, both offer ultra-fast acceleration and unbreakable grip. But the CLA is slightly more practical, while the A-class, slightly lighter on its feet. Expect the CLA to be around £41,000 and £38,000 for the A-Class.