Mike Stevens | Jan 19, 2012

Mercedes-Benz could be done with taking a back seat to Audi and BMW in the small hot-hatch niche, with reports this week that a new A-Class AMG flagship is in the works.

The regular version of the 2013 A-Class has yet to be revealed, but with the latest batch of Mercs now brandishing their own AMG guns, the carmaker's tuning arm is understood to have turned attention to its smallest model yet.

This is not the first time that reports have pointed to a hi-po version of the new A-Class, with last year's 156kW Concept A-Class suggesting that a rival for at least Volkswagen's Golf GTI could be in the works.

Rumours in the months since have pointed to a brand-new twin-turbo 2.0 litre engine, producing figures in the realm of 240kW and making the so-called A 25 AMG a new champion in the hot-hatch segment - and almost matching the 250kW 1 Series M Coupe.

2012 mercedes benz a class spy photos 01

Unlike the front-wheel-drive 224kW Ford Focus RS, the A 25 AMG will reportedly send power to all four wheels, transferred through the company's 4Matic system and a seven-speed double-clutch transmission.

According to British magazine Car, the project is now well underway and should bear fruit soon after the regular hatch debuts later this year.

If an AMG-tuned A-Class is indeed on the way, it could be joined by a hardcore version of the mysterious new "CLC", with spy photos in August last year revealing a pint-sized version of the big CLS four-door coupe.

According to enthusiast blog BenzInsider, the CLS-inspired small sedan will feature front-wheel-drive in its regular form, while high-powered AMG variants will get an all-wheel-drive system.

US website Edmunds has pointed to a New York Auto Show unveiling for the CLC, this coming April.

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