AMG’s hyper hatchback gains updated style and tech, but no power upgrades
Mercedes has given its A35 and A45 S hot hatchbacks a mid-life update alongside the standard A-class, introducing a spread of changes for both models, mechanical and aesthetic. We expect them to start at similar price points as the current models, which cost from $48,508 for the A35 and a whopping $67,700 for the A45 S.
The flagship A45 S hasn’t had much in the way of technical updates, but retains its title of being the most powerful hot hatchback on sale. The M139 turbocharged four-cylinder engine still produces 416bhp and 369lb ft of torque, reaching 100kph in 3.9 seconds thanks to impervious traction from its all-wheel drive system. These figures are largely superior to its key rival, the Audi RS3, but there’s reason to believe a hotter RS3 could well be on its way to tip the favour back in Audi’s direction.
Instead the new 45 S focuses largely on aesthetic updates, with new lighting units front and rear, plus fresh colour and trim options. There is a limited-run AMG Street Style edition being launched alongside the main update in Germany which includes red highlights overtop of a matte grey paint finish – it remains to be seen if Mercedes product planners are brave enough to market it here.
The mid-level A35 has gone through more substantial updates, due largely to the fact it shares more of its underpinnings with the standard A-class. This includes the adoption of Merc’s 48V mild-hybrid module which not only adds 13bhp to the powertrain at low loads, but also powers the engine’s ancillaries. Peak figures are still the same, 302bhp at 5800rpm and 295lb ft between 3000-4000, and are derived entirely from the existing turbocharged 2-litre four.
The A35’s design has been given a more robust update, with a new front bumper combined with a domed bonnet borrowed from the A45. This, plus the new wheel designs and fresh lights add up to a much sharper looking mid-level hot hatchback that rivals everything from the Audi S3 to a Volkswagen Golf R.
The cabins on both models are also largely similar, with only software updates to the existing dual-screen layout, but there are further colour and trim changes including new trim finishes for the upper dash.
AMG’s complex twin-prong steering wheel has also been fitted, complete with the additional drive controllers that give quick access to the various drive modes and all their specific elements.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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