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The Rocket Rust Bucket


Why wrap one of the most powerful hot hatches on the planet that could the asphalt off the road in rust-printed vinyl? Why not right? It’s quite the contradiction and certainly one that will make you take a second glance on this Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG here.

The most powerful four-cylinder turbo engine produced, power to all wheels and a slick dual-clutch transmission screams performance and speed. Anyone would know that the rusted wrap was fake but it still doesn’t take away any of the contradiction from this build.

Still, the custom wrap aside; a job by the talented Kacey Legacy using 3M custom rusted design vinyl, this A45 sports a few tricks up its sleeve that would have it leaving the regular, stock ones in its wake.

Performance hardware is limited to just a custom intake and exhaust system. There’s also a Forge Motorsport diverter valve fitted as the car left the factory without one. What’s a diverter valve you might ask? Well, readers here might recognise it more as a blow-off valve.

To full extract the performance from the new bits in the bay, a custom remap was performed with an increase in boost. This brings the engine’s performance closer to the edge without compromising any of its reliability.

That transmission though has been left alone. The slick seven-speed dual-clutch is more than up to the task of channeling the power to all four wheels without any assistance… for now. Same goes for the handling side. In factory form, the A45 does ride quite stiff so any enhancements will have to be carefully selected to not compromise the comfort.

It does however get more grip with some stickier Michelin rubbers. The PS4S tyres in a square 245/35R19 size now wrap around some gloss black 10-spoke ATS Racelight wheels. They do their best to the DBA 4000 rotors on the front that still pair with the AMG calipers.

Inside it’s all about minimalism. No, it’s not stripped out. It’s just given some tasteful additions. This comes in the form of a carbon fibre steering wheel, carbon fibre paddle shifters and a custom AMG boost gauge to keep an eye on the increased boost levels.

Outside it’s a different story. You’ll the hood and side skirts from the Revo catalogue and of course, they’re constructed from carbon fibre. Carbon fibre is also the material of choice for the rear skirt and front lip; the latter a Varis piece. One of the most interesting cosmetic mods though has to be the AMG GT R style front grille, better known as the Panamericana grille.

Hot hatches used to be all about blending in. They were based on production hatches that were appliances and had more power thrown and better handling. This A45 AMG though rips that book into pieces and sticks out like a sore thumb though having AMG power under the hood, nobody’s going to doubt its ability to hit warpspeed.

Car – Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

Engine – Custom intake 4.0-inch, custom exhaust system, Forge Motorsport diverter valve

Electronics – Custom remap

Transmission – Stock

Chassis & Handling – Stock

Brakes – DBA 4000 rotors (front)

Wheels & Tyres – ATS Racelight wheels, Michelin PS4S 245/35R19

Interior – Carbon fibre steering wheel, custom AMG boost gauge, carbon fibre paddle shifters

Exterior – Revo carbon fibre hood, Revo carbon fibre side skirts, Varis carbon fibre front lip, carbon fibre rear skirt, GT-R style front grille, Wrap by Kacey Legacy with 3M custom rusted design

Photos: Dennis Lhy and Kenny Yeoh

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