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Another Hot Merc

When the big boys come out to play they sure as hell come out to play. It has been quite an arrival for the likes of Mercedes Benz into the business end of the hot hatch class that it’s a wonder why they weren’t there all along. The snappy rise in standards or benchmarks therein with output figures going on the uppity up propelling unheard of acceleration figures and top end have anointed the hot hatch terminology to an entirely new and none too corny mega hatch. Indeed the whole ‘mega-ness’ of the new titillating breed of mega hatches germinated from the supercar-aping speeds they’re capable of – simply astonishing when you think of it.

The W176 breed of the A Class debuted back in 2012 replacing the W169 model which wasn’t exactly setting the world alight with its performance capability. The top of the range A200 Turbo with its distinctly city car design cues and proportions, despite being turbocharged and all mustered a rather miniscule 193 hp from its blown 2 liter inline 4 – which prompted a half decent 8 seconds 0 to 100km/h and 218 km/h full on. Then came the game-changing, goalpost shifting, giant-killing W176 with the mighty A45 and things become more exciting in the hot hatch seemingly overnight – sub 5 seconds (4.2 to be exact but sub 5 already sounds spectacular does it not?) century sprint, 0 – 100mph in 10 seconds flat, 12.6 seconds quarter mile, and 280 km/h derestricted. These aren’t mere Porsche rivaling but more like trouncing and embarrassing the much fancied sports car manufacturer also headquartered in Stuttgart. Talk about punching way above its weight.

In this regard the entire genre of new breed of performance oriented mega hatches have ascended the performance summit – an inevitability if you ask me of progress. Such has the advancements in automotive technology that hatchbacks could be made to go quicker and quicker still without compromising the structural integrity of a purpose built tail-less family car. Whether the Merc hatchbacks were the originator of the entire ‘freakishly fast’ hatch, or it was some other ‘Germane’ types is up for debate or maybe depends wholly on your point of view.

No skewered viewpoints are at play right here concerning this primed, kitted-up A250 street racer belonging to a certain Alif Hamdan. If that name sounds familiar that’d be rightly so since the young man has been running rampant on both the local and foreign racing circles, becoming the man to beat in just about every category he’d competed in. His relatively brief but impressive racing career has seen him taking wins in the MME and the Malaysian Super Series – Sports Production as well as the GT Open classes.

This exemplary A250 quasi racer have been given the requisite ‘street racer’ treatment – equipped with a whole host of performance enhancing components aka the ‘double H’ treatment (handling and horsepower). Central to the modification program is a list of AHM (Alif Hamdan Motorsport) components. The AHM program includes AHM carbon fiber intake box (with K&N open pod filter), air diversion intake plate and large capacity aluminum intercooler, plus custom 3 inch stainless steel straight piping with dual pipe exhaust system also branded as AHM.

More of the AHM treatment concerns the A250’s external aesthetics – Uber cool AHM Aspect R widebody kit, bespoke AHM rear diffuser, front hood vents and on the inside the attention-grabbing blood red custom installed 6-point bolt-on roll cage. Harnessing the optimum performance from the 1991cc turbo inline 4 is the ultra brainy Unichip engine management system which, together with the aforementioned AHM performance components sure does make for a perkier force inducted performer.

To exploit the performance upgrades optimally Alif gave the chassis some enhancements of its own – Fawster S3 Racing suspension kit, SuperPro links for the absorbers (fully adjustable); some handy brakes upgrades consisting HG Motorsports slotted floating rotors, Dixcel 900Deg racing brake pads for the front and EBC Yellowstuff & Greenstuff around the back, plus SuperCircuit steel braided hose kit. Enkei RS05R 18 inch wheels shod with Toyo rubbers affixed with H&R wheel bolts completes outer aspect.

The aftermarket extras as per the inner bits featured Recaro full buckets with Schroth Racing harnesses plus Microtech LTC Dash display. This hotted up A250 also runs on Penrite lubes.

Engine: 1991cc inline-4 Turbo, 215 hp & 258 lb ft

Engine Mods: Unichip Engine Mgmt System, AHM Carbon fiber air intake box with K&N Open Pod Filter, AHM Air Diversion Intake Plate, AHM large capacity Aluminum Intercooler, AHM Custom 3″ Stainless Steel Straight Piping with Dual pipe Exhaust system

Suspension: Fawster S3 Racing Suspension, SuperPro Adjustable Absorber Link

Wheels: Enkei Racing Revolution RS05RR 18″ x 8.5jj 45 Wheels, H&R Wheel Bolts, Toyo tires

Brakes: Front HG Motorsports Slotted Floating Rotors, Front Dixcel 900Deg Racing Brake Pads, SuperCircuit Steel Braided Brake Hose Kit, Rear EBC Yellowstuff/Greenstuff Brake Pads

Interior: Microtech LTC Dash, Recaro Profi SPG Full Bucket Seats, Schroth Racing 6point Racing Harness (Driver Side), Schroth Racing 4point Racing Harness (Passenger Side), AHM Custom 6point Bolt-on Roll Cage

Exterior: AHM Aspect R Widebody Kit, AHM Custom Rear Diffuser, AHM Front Hood Vent