Mercedes-AMG has taken the covers off the A35, its new hot hatch that will rival the likes of the Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R.
The A35 will be the entry-level AMG in the A-Class range, with the hotter 300kW+ A45 arriving in 2019.
Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces 225kW (300hp) of power (from 5800-6100rpm) and 400Nm (295lb-ft) of torque (from 3000rpm). Power is sent to all wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and an AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, which AMG claims can send up to 50 per cent of the torque to the rear wheels when required.
Those numbers allow the A35 to sprint from zero to 100km/h (62mph)in just 4.7 seconds, toward a limited top speed of 250km/h (155mph). For reference, European-spec Audi S3 models get to 100km/h in 4.6 seconds, topping out at an identical 250km/h.
Hiding behind those black 18-inch AMG alloys are 350mm front and 330mm rear ventilated brake discs, paired to four-piston front and single-piston rear calipers painted in silver.
AMG has fiddled around with the A35’s software too, with five different drive modes available to choose from: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. They alter the throttle response, stability control (which can be manually switched between Basic and Advanced), gear shift speed and RPM, the three-mode adaptive dampers as well as the new AMG sports exhaust system which features a moving flap that changes the four-pot’s sound on the fly.
The A35 has also received a number of visual upgrades to differentiate it over the standard A250, including black front canards, front splitter, sportier side skirts, aggressive rear diffuser, rear wing and two black exhaust tips.
Inside, the A-Class’ interior has been given the AMG treatment for the A35, too. There’s now a leather and microfibre AMG-branded sports steering wheel, metal paddle shifters and AMG bucket seats available in a range of colours and materials (such as the microfibre/leather ones with grey accents seen in the press pictures).
Buyers can option ‘AMG Track Pace’, an app within the MBUX infotainment system that logs over 80 metrics while on the racetrack including lap times, sector times and deltas – it can also show maps of certain famous European racetracks.
The Mercedes-AMG A35 will make its public debut at next month’s Paris motor show, before a European on-sale date of January 2019. An Australian launch will follow in the second half of 2019 – a US launch will not be happening.