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Mercedes-AMG has a reputation for peerless engineering, race wins, and high-performance street cars. Typically, the brand showcases its race-derived expertise in sports sedans and low-slung GTs. When there’s an AMG performance badge, you know it’s a special vehicle. But, Mercedes-Benz tackled a different category: the hatchback.

The Mercedes-AMG A 45 S offers everyday practicality and can hang with the standard in performance cars: the Porsche 911 Carrera. Let’s look at the nuts and bolts of this German performance hot hatch and how it compares to a storied German sports car.

Mercedes-AMG A 45 S specs and features

A top-down view of a gray Mercedes-AMG A 45 S on a track.
Mercedes-AMG A 45 S | Mercedes-Benz

This hot hatch is a versatile build with a little bit of everything: performance, luxury, and utility.

Carwow takes us through the specs.

The centerpiece of the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4Matic+ plus hatchback is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, good for 421 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. That gets routed through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, allowing instant gear changes and seamless acceleration. And an advanced all-wheel-drive system puts the power to the ground.

Inside, the A 45 S features interior quality typical of Mercedes-Benz. Premium materials, a digital dash, and high-tech infotainment make it feel more airplane cockpit than a passenger car, and copious cargo space adds additional utility for any task.

Road & Track highlights the available “Street Style” special edition for European markets, with a mountain gray magno finish, aerodynamic enhancements, and bright orange accents.

And when it comes to performance, the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S competes with the best of them. With the turbo motor, dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel drive working in sync, it accelerates from 0-60 mph in only 3.9 seconds.

Mercedes-AMG A 45 S vs. Porsche 911 Carrera: how they compare

On the surface, the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4Matic and Porsche 911 Carrera look like different species.

With four doors, a hatchback, and a large grille, the A 45 S embodies logical German engineering.

The 911’s oval headlamps, sloping roofline, and broad haunches make it a classic sports car shape.

Under the surface, the differences continue.

The Porsche 911 Carrera relies on a 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six with 379 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. That reaches the pavement through a six-speed manual or an automated PDK transmission driving the rear wheels. The A 45 S uses the aforementioned turbo 2.0-liter four, a dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel drive. While the 911’s powertrain is about passionate performance, the A 45 S is more straightforward proficiency.

Accelerating from a standstill, the A 45 S reaches 60 mph a hair faster, with the 911 taking 4.0 seconds to its 3.9 seconds. That could be due to the Mercedes-AMG hatchback’s AWD providing superior off-the-line traction. But even then, it’s an impressive feat, with the Porsche 911 Carrera known worldwide as a sports car benchmark.

Mercedes-AMG A 45 S vs. Porsche 911 Carrera: different approaches to performance

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The Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4matic+ hatchback is an all-around vehicle that can serve many purposes. Whether someone needs to run errands, travel far, or hit the track, this German hot hatch is up to the task.

On the other hand, the Porsche 911 Carrera has a narrow focus: performance driving. You can tell just by looking at a 911 that it’s made for roaring acceleration and high-G cornering, the classic shape a modern take on its long history. While the Carrera can make due during everyday driving – with a comfortable ride, plush interior, and good MPGs – it shines when driven with urgency.

While offering nearly identical acceleration, these two German cars take distinct approaches to get there. From their contrasting bodywork to their diverse powertrains, the A 45 S and 911 Carrera are birds of a different feather.

But when picking between the two, it comes down to what a buyer wants and needs and whether versatility or outright performance takes center stage. Either way, you’ll drive off in a world-class vehicle.