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We’re at the ongoing media preview drive of the Mercedes-Benz W212 E-Class facelift on the East Coast, and earlier today, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia took the opportunity to introduce two new additions to its local model line-up. One of them is the range-topping W176 A-Class variant, the A 45 AMG.

The car was spotted in Langkawi yesterday, and back in August, a black-coloured A 45 AMG example was sighted at JPJ Putrajaya undergoing type approval. The order books for the car have officially opened, though our man at the scene, Hafriz, reports that the price for the car has not yet been announced, MBM just saying that it will be priced under RM400k.

Prior to the W176 A-Class being launched in Malaysia, a sales advisor posted a pre-launch booking listing on oto.my, with an indicative price of RM338,888 for the A 45 AMG. His mention of the A 200 and A 250‘s pricing of RM199k and RM239k back then turned out to be spot on, but it might be that the A 45 AMG’s eventual selling price will be higher than the RM339k indication.

Whatever the case may be, for those able to afford it, the A 45 AMG promises a whole lot of bang. The little rocket is equipped with the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world, in this case the hand-built M132 2.0 litre twin-scroll turbo four-pot – the EU6-ready mill offers a rather significant 360 hp at 6,000 rpm and 450 Nm at 2,250 to 5,000 rpm.

An AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed dual-clutch sports transmission is directly flange-mounted on the transversely-installed lump, and the car comes with AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive fitted as standard. Performance specs include a 0-100 km/h time of 4.6 seconds and an electronically-limited 250 km/h top speed.

The car features specifically-tuned spring/damper units and larger stabilisers, with the three-link front suspension getting stiffer steering knuckles, more rigid bearings and totally new elastokinematics. The four-link rear axle, meanwhile, is new, with a geometry and setup unique to it.

Other regulation items include a three-stage ESP (On, Sport Handling and Off) with ESP Curve Dynamic Assist, which is adapted to the selected ESP mode and provides an imperceptible braking intervention on the inside wheel to offer more precise cornering. Also, an AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated and perforated discs.

The base wheels for the car are 18-inch units finished in titanium grey, but the Malaysian examples will wear the upsized optional AMG 19-inch multi-spokes, wrapped with 235/35 profile tyres – two finishes are available for the particular wheel, but we’re getting the one done in matt black with a high-sheen rim flange. Also fitted as standard for the local A 45 AMG is the optional AMG rear aerofoil.

The Malaysian-spec vehicle also gets the optional AMG Performance exhaust system as regulation kit – the system features the same automatically-controlled exhaust flap as found on the base AMG sports system, but has more rumble when the throttle is wide open and during gear shifts. It also has a dedicated tailpipe trim design.

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Base exterior elements include an AMG twin-blade radiator grille and cross strut in the AMG front apron, both finished in matt titanium grey, which also dresses the side sill panels and the rear diffusor insert. There’s no Night package for the Malaysian car, identifiable through its high-gloss black finish for the front and rear apron trim, side mirror covers and side sills (as seen on the photos of the debut example).

Inside, you’ll find sports seats finished in Artico man-made leather/Dinamica microfibre with red contrasting top-stitching, while the dashboard trim gets a carbon-fibre look. Red is worn by the seatbelts, as well the air-vent surround garnish.

MBM has also brought in a few units of the special A 45 AMG “Edition 1” version, which slaps on the AMG Night package as well as an Aerodynamics package. The Cirrus White exterior is dressed with matt graphite grey AMG sports stripes on the bonnet, roof and sides, with additional red highlights to be found on the radiator grille, exterior mirrors and rear aerofoil. Presumably, it’ll add a bit to the base price.

So, it looks hot, it looks fast, and you probably want one. Well, you’ll have to wait if you haven’t ordered an A 45 AMG yet, because the word is that local orders for the variant have been filled towards the end of 2014!