The W177 Mercedes-AMG A45S 4Matic+ made its Malaysian debut at the beginning of this month in Edition 1 guise which is limited to just 20 units, and at RM459,888, the top A-Class variant is a hefty RM80k more expensive than the Mercedes-AMG A35, which is also powered by a turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine mated to an all-wheel drive system.

The A45S is powered by the M139 which differs from the A35’s M260 in being rotated 180 degrees, which positions the exhaust manifold and turbocharger at the rear while the intakes are now in front for shorter tract lengths. The A45S packs a 55 PS/100 Nm advantage over the A35, however, and the AMG Performance 4Matic+ system on the former can send 100% output to either the front or rear axle, enabling Drift mode.

Paired with the AMG Speedshift 8DCT dual-clutch gearbox, this powertrain enables the A45S to run the 0-100 km/h sprint benchmark in 3.9 seconds, while the Driver’s Package allows a top speed of 270 km/h.

Making the visual statement for the top variant of the five-door hatch is the vertically-slatted Panamericana grille in front, and the front wheelarches have been widened over the regular A-Class. The power dome sculpting on the bonnet is unique to the A45, while the Edition 1 pack adds the Night Pack with black trim along the front bumper and inserts, as well as the aero pack that includes the front splitter and flics.

Rolling stock is a set of 19-inch dual five-spoke wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, a departure from the multi-spoke set which featured on the previous, W176-generation A45. The new wheels also offer a better view of the uprated front brakes with six-piston calipers, while the aggressive A45S aesthetic continues at the back with the large rear wing, quad circular tailpipes and diffuser.

Inside, the A45S gets a Dinamica-trimmed steering wheel which includes buttons and a rotary selector with their own miniature mode displays. The front occupants get a pair of AMG high-performance bucket seats, and the driver gets AMG-specific graphics on the the digital instrument panel. The A45S also gains AMG Track Pace which allows the tracking of the car’s performance on various preloaded circuits; unfortunately, the Sepang International Circuit hasn’t been included, though custom routes can be set instead.

Specific to the Edition 1 interior are the steering wheel plaque, additional decals on the aluminium dashboard panel, as well as yellow highlights including on the seats and for the contrast stitching. Curiously, the seatbelts here are black instead of following suit with the yellow.

Creature comforts include dual-zone climate control, wireless mobile device charging and panoramic sunroof. Unfortunately the A45 doesn’t include a 360-degree camera system, though it does pack a Burmester sound system. Also included here is the AMG Emotion Start, which fires up the engine with an additional flare of revs and exhaust crackle.

Safety kit on the Mercedes-AMG A45S includes seven airbags, electronic stability control, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot assist and active lane keeping assist. What the A45S cedes to the CLA45S in active safety is the Driving Assistance Package, which includes adaptive cruise control and semi-autonomous driving features.

The Edition 1 pack lofts the price tag of the A45S beyond that of the CLA45S at RM449,888, whereas the four-door coupe has previously been pricier than the equivalent hatchback. Once the 20-unit run of Edition 1 cars have run out, the ‘regular’ A45S is expected to be priced closer to the region of RM440,000. Watch the video here as Hafriz Shah takes a look at the Mercedes-AMG A45S Edition 1, inside and out.

GALLERY: Mercedes-AMG A45 S 4Matic+ Edition 1 in Malaysia