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The Mercedes-AMG A35 is the sporty version of the regular A-Class, boasting 306 horsepower, all-wheel drive and combining Golf R level performance with a premium vibe that’s beyond what any Volkswagen could ever offer. For around £35,000 it’s an impressive car, combining the best of Mercedes luxury with the hard-hitting traditions of its AMG performance division. How on earth could you improve on that?

Well, the Mercedes-AMG A45 is all of the above. But more so. Much, much more so. It’s the same basic recipe, but power increases to an incredible 421 horsepower, performance is even more impressive and it boasts a special Drift Mode inspired by the same on its E63 big brother. The cost of all this? Another £15,000 over that of the A35. That’s an awful lot of money. Can it possibly be justified, given it’s still an A-Class and doesn’t really look that different from the A35? Rory’s here to test the theory. Hold on tight…

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