There's no denying it, the Mercedes A45 AMG is an astonishing car. With 355bhp from its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot, it's not just jolly quick, it also has the highest specific output of any production engine of that size. It has incredible grip and - in my opinion at least - looks pretty good too. All that doesn't come cheap, however. Prices start at an eye-watering £37,845 before you add any of the ludicrously expensive options. Most people, then, who drop the best part of £40k on one of these things will want others to know that this is no ordinary A-Class. And sure enough, you get chunky five-spoke 18-inch AMG wheels, big vents in the rear bumper, and beefy intakes on the front bumper. The thing is, though, if you buy any other A-Class - with the exception of the base A180 or A180 CDI - and tick the AMG Sport trim package, you get a car that looks almost exactly the same. Aside from the slightly different exhaust, marginally lower stance and a handful of other minor details, you'd be hard pressed to tell the A45 aside from these more modestly-powered, AMG-trimmed cars. And this really irritates me. In my view, it massively devalues the pricey A45 to have a car with less than half the power (154bhp in the A200, and 134bhp in the A200 CDI) and for almost half the price wearing near enough identical sporty clothes. It's not just the baby Merc hatch either, the A-Class-based CLA has the same AMG Sport trim arrangement. Think the car in the picture above is a CLA45? You're wrong, it's a CLA220 CDI. The worst part of it, though, is to have cars with as little as 134bhp dressed up in the butch AMG frock; it's the very definition of 'all mouth and no trousers.' Make it stop, Mercedes.
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