Perhaps in the light of the Range Rover announcement, Mercedes has taken the opportunity to announce the new 4wd A Class, and also remind the world that it invented the 4x4 – back in 1907, apparently.
The Daimler Dernberg (Daimler was the original name of Mercedes) is said to be the world's first commercially available 4x4 and had a 6.8 litre engine, producing 35 bhp. Mercedes also points out that the formidable Unimog has been in continuous production since 1947. The Unimog is short for Universalmotorgeraet, which translates as "Universal Motor Appliance" – the ultimate Swiss Army Knife on wheels (for those with budgets approaching six figures).
The A45 AMG will be rather more mainstream. It has a four wheel drive system that can channel the majority of the power to the rear wheels under load (unusual for a car based on a front wheel drive design). The 2.0 litre engine is expected to produce around 330 bhp, enough for a 0-62 mph time in the low 5 second range.
Mercedes is promising the highest cornering speeds in its class. That sounds impressive, but the issue with many AMG models in the past was not roadholding, which allowed high cornering speeds, but handling. Some AMGs have gone round corners very fast, but have left the driver feeling like a passenger. Let's hope this one enables the driver to have some fun while they are travelling very swiftly from A to B.