Mercedes Rejoins the Hot Hatch World With Its Tech-Laden AMG A35

Automotive News 22 September 20, 2018 by

When you think of Mercedes-Benz, hot hatch isn’t necessarily the first thing you think of. But the wizards at AMG are looking to change that with the new A35.

As the name suggests, the A35 AMG is a hot version of the all-new A-Class, sitting just below the forthcoming and mildly bonkers A45. It’s the first hot A-Class on the new platform.

Under the hood sits the typical 2.0-liter turbo four found in most hot hatches. Also like other cars on the market, it puts out 302hp and 295lbft of torque. This puts the performance numbers right in the ballpark too: the A35 hits 60mph in around 4.7 seconds and like nearly every Mercedes tops out at 155 mph.

So far, so normal. That’s essentially prime hot hatch territory, with the Civic Type R, Subaru WRX, Focus RS and Golf R all lurking around these kind of figures.

Mercedes is looking to technology to set the A35 apart. That includes the optional AMG Track Pack which comes with MBUX Augmented Reality.

This system holds track information on famous racetracks. That includes things like a basic track map and the ideal racing line. Once you head out to that track, the car displays the track information on the multimedia screen. Or — and this is where it gets really cool — in the head-up display. Yes, the car will show you the line as you drive around the track, just like you’re in a racing game.

If your local track isn’t in the system, Mercedes also has a way to allow you to record your trips around the track. After your run is complete, it saves the information in the car to allow you to access it in future.

Unless you’re British. This feature won’t be available for UK-market cars. Boo, Mercedes.

The A35 also teases some information about the next A45 when that arrives in 2019. This includes model-specific body reinforcement to improve torsional rigidity, a variable four-wheel drive system and the adjustable dampers and stability control program.

In the cabin you’ll find a fully digital binnacle. That allows for three difference display styles, along with special screens unique to AMG cars. Yes, that includes a g-force meter.

There’s also an AMG-specific center console. This includes buttons for the ESP and damping systems, and manual transmission mode for the seven-speed DCT ‘box. The A35 also features the brand’s “Hey Mercedes” voice-controlled digital assistant.

While you wait for the 400hp+ A45 next year, the A35 will be your only Mercedes hot hatch option. Although the brand is yet to reveal pricing, it’s likely to come at a decent discount compared to its hotter brother. That would put it in the region of $45,000, before options.

One such option looks like the paint from these official photos. That’s rather close to AMG Solarbeam Yellow found on the Mercedes-AMG GT R, where it’s a $10,000 extra…

Mercedes will reveal the A35 AMG in full at the Paris Motor Show on October 2. It’ll open the order books the same day, and deliveries start in the first quarter of 2019.

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