« Back Double Up: Merc A45S AMG + Lotus Emira
Cash alternative for this prize is £109,000
When the original Mercedes A45 came out it shook the hot hatch world to the core – a crazy 377bhp, AWD, dual-clutch hatchback that had more cross-country pace than most supercars yet could be driven daily and used as a family runabout. Then Audi hit the 400bhp mark with their RS3 and Mercedes went back to the drawing board.
For the new model A-Class there has been a delay in the top-ranking car returning, having our appetites teased with the excellent 306bhp A35 (which you could also win in the BOTB competition).
But now we have not one, but two A45 models to feast on – the std A45 and this fire breathing example – the A45S. Featuring a totally new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine it produces a frankly staggering 415bhp – in a fully warranted road car! – and 500Nm of torque. That means it can hit 62mph in just 3.9 seconds on the way to a 168mph top speed.
Opt for the AMG Drivers Package and you also get a Drift Mode just like in the E63S, where you can have all the power to the rear wheels only for sideways fun. Visually the A35 has softened the blow slightly, but the A45S gets bigger wheels, bigger brakes, wider arches and quad tailpipes at the rear, plus a bigger rear spoiler. Oh, and the now-standard huge Panamericana grille on the front that marks this out as a top-level AMG model.
There simply won’t be another car that can cover ground as fast as this, any road, any weather and we're proud to be able to give this car away in the comp!
NOTE: Images show optional Aero Package not included in this prize – this now comes only as a £6000 option pack.
LOTUS EMIRA FIRST EDITION
Just take a look at the pictures of this brand new Lotus Emira. Now imagine it parked next to a McLaren Artura, a Ferrari 296GTB and a Lamborghini Huracan Evo – it wouldn’t look out of place, would it? Yet it costs less than half of all of them – amazing!
The sculpted front end, slash intakes in the bonnet, huge side intakes and pert rear are all reminiscent of the £2m Evija EV hypercar, but made more supercar-like and road friendly. But it really is stunning from every angle, an amazing achievement.
The Emira is a seriously important car for Lotus, not least because it’s the last internal combustion engine model they’ll release. It’s also got the unenviable task of following the Elise, Exige and Evora which is effectively replaces. Lotus will now be a two-car company with the Emira and Evija.
There will be a choice of powertrains eventually, but this First Edition car features the 3.5 litre supercharged V6 seen in the Evora, here making 395bhp, sending that power to the rear wheels via a fantastic six speed manual gearbox – though an automatic is optional.
The Emira really is one of the most exciting cars to come out in the last five to ten years, we just can’t wait to get behind the wheel and drive one!