According to Britain's Autocar magazine, the newcomer, dubbed Predator, will retain the same silhouette as before, but incorporate a front facia similar to that of the Concept A saloon shown in Shanghai earlier this year, with model specific features such as a revised bumper, different grille and more aggressive headlights.
As well as passing its new styling on to the regular A-class, known internally as W177, the AMG will ride on Mercedes-Benz's new MFA platform expected to underpin its new generation of front-wheel drive vehicles, and boast new driver assistance system, redesigned interior and upgraded Drive Select system.
The biggest change will however come up front where the current 2.0-litre turbocharged engine will get an extensive overhaul with power expected to rise from 280 kW to a mammoth 298 kW or 400 PS. In addition to a variation of the 48-volt electric system that debut with the four-door AMG GT4, the A45 will drop the current seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox for a new nine-speed unit, with Torque Vectoring and a new multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system set to added.
Lower down, the normal A-class will get a range of new downsized turbo-petrol engines, reported to be from alliance partner Renault, and a revised range of diesel engines with a hybrid expected to debut at a later stage. A six-speed manual will remain as standard along with the seven-speed DCT, while the aforementioned nine-speed will be offered on certain higher-spec models.
A new performance variant, rumoured to be called A32 or A36, is currently being mulled to fill the gap between the standard A-class and A45, with output to be in the area of 221 kW.
The W177 is slated to make its official debut in 2019.