VALBONNE, France – Mercedes-Benz adds muscle to its new A-Class range of luxury compacts by teaming with its AMG high-performance division to create the A 45 AMG.

The compact 5-door hatchback, engineered to outperform rivals such as the Audi RS3 and BMW 1M coupe, will be unveiled at next month’s Geneva auto show.

The A 45 AMG squeezes 360 hp and 332 lb.-ft. (450 Nm) of torque out of an all-new 2.0L direct-injected twin-scroll-turbocharged 4-cyl. engine that accelerates from 0-60 mph (100 km/h) in 4.6 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).

This signature engine, using AMG’s “one-man-one-engine” method, not only boasts a soaring 99 lb.-ft. per liter of specific torque but also meets future Euro 6 emissions standards.

By contrast, the Audi RS3’s 2.5L in-line 5-cyl. powerplant also develops 332 lb.-ft. of torque but 340 hp, while the BMW 1M’s 3.0L in-line 6-cyl. mill produces 306 hp and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque.

The A 45 AMG’s engine is just the core of a highly sophisticated system. Permanent all-wheel-drive traction comes via the 7-speed, dual-clutch Speedshift AMG transmission and electronic management of torque and torque vectoring. The high-powered hatchback sits on standard 235/40 tires on 18-in. light alloy wheels, while 19-in. wheels are standard on the Edition 1 launch-limited series.

Pricing, likely in the vicinity of €50,000 ($66,700), will be announced before April, when Mercedes dealers will begin taking orders. First deliveries are scheduled for June.