It’ll produce more than 400 horsepower.

We know the Mercedes-AMG A45 hatchback is coming to go head-to-head with the Audi RS3 Sportback that's inevitably waiting to race to see which is the fastest. And AMG boss Tobias Moers hasn't exactly been quiet about the new car either. Details about the A45 and A35 – its less-powerful sibling – aren't much of a secret.

AMG is designing the next A45 as a new benchmark for hot hatches. That means AMG engineers are developing a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine capable of producing more than 400 horsepower. Now, the A45 creates 381 hp, and while that's plenty to grant it the coveted status of a hot hatch, it's not enough for the new car. The 381-hp engine currently in the AMG is at its performance maximum.

We've seen the A45 before, but this time, there appear to be some differences from the previous spy photos we've seen. The most notable difference is the rear fascia. While the quad exhaust remains, the overall design of the bumper is different. The previous spy photos depict a more aggressive bumper rear while this one appears relatively plain. These new photos could be of an older prototype, too. Even with the camouflage, the car looks super aggressive. The lower ride height is enough to give away the hatch's true performance intentions.

AMG may be reaching for the stars when it comes to being the hot-hatch benchmark. However, it looks like it'll have some serious competition from the 2020 Volkswagen Golf-R, which is rumored to produce 400 hp through a mild-hybrid powertrain. That's the same performance turf AMG wants to plant its flag with the A45. Though AMG may surpass the Golf-R's performance with its own hybrid powertrain that would be even more powerful than the A45.

It's unlikely the U.S. will get the AMG A45 in its hatchback form. However, we will get the sedan version of the A-Class and its performance variants. We'll see the next-generation A45 before the end of the decade.

Photos: Automedia

Gallery: Mercedes-AMG A45 Spy Photos

Photo by: Automedia