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Prior to receiving its facelift, the current Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG was thought to spawn an even more powerful variant in the guise of a Black Series edition, with outputs rumoured to be in the region of 400 hp. That, however, was three years ago, and the W176-generation A-Class is headed for the sunset, with development of the next-generation model well underway. Before the next one arrives, though, it looks like we’ll see a last hurrah in the form of the Mercedes-AMG A 45 R.

The present-day Mercedes-AMG A 45 already produces a formidable 381 hp and 475 Nm of torque from its M133 2.0 litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, so while the 20 hp step to the rumoured 400 hp mark may not appear all that sizeable, the R variant can be almost certainly expected to gain improvements elsewhere, namely the chassis.

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That wider body will almost certainly clothe a beefier suspension setup to cope with the added performance the uprated engine is able to load the car up with. Beyond the wider wheelarches, much of the current A 45’s exterior appears to be unchanged, although it remains to be seen if the eventual product will wear different bumpers to further differentiate it from the standard – if it could ever be called that – AMG product, much like the angrier looking Mercedes-AMG GT R.

With the next-generation A-Class expected to make its debut at next year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, this 400 hp swansong for the current iteration of this German hatchback could make its debut before that, and with it a revelation of its confirmed model name – whether it’ll be called the A 45 R, the A 45 S, or indeed the A 45 Black Series.