Mercedes-AMG has pulled the covers off its all-new A35 hot hatch. Aimed squarely at the Audi S3 and the VW Golf R, the turbocharged four-wheel drive machine makes its debut at next month’s Paris Motor Show. Based on the same platform as the all-new Mercedes A-Class hatch, the A35 fills a gap in the line-up between VW Golf GTI-rivalling A250 and the forthcoming A45 flagship, due in 2019. Packing a 302bhp turbocharged engine and four-wheel drive, the A35 is claimed to crack 0-100kph in 4.7 seconds and top out at an electronically limited 250kph.
As seen in these pictures, the design of the A35 is predictably familiar, adding the usual array of subtle AMG design cues to the new A-class’ distinctive body. Changes at the front appear to include a redesigned front apron and grille with AMG’s distinctive double-bar design. The rear apron is also familiar, but with new exhaust tips and an AMG badge on the tailgate. Also obvious in this new model is this car’s stacked rear wing and front bumper-mounted dive planes, both of which will likely be available on an optional aero package, much like the current A45.
It’s under the skin were the real interest lies, because the A35 was developed in parallel with the even more powerful A45, meaning both cars share similar components. Crucially, it also means the A35 was engineered with the same eye on driver involvement as other AMG products. For instance, the bodyshell has been stiffened for greater handling precision, with a pair of diagonal braces and a ‘shear panel’ aluminium plate underneath the engine adding valuable torsional rigidity.