Mercedes-AMG has released a set of teaser photos for its new mid-level hot hatch, the A35. Powered by an extensive redevelopment of the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot you’ll find within the regular A-Class, its mission is to take the fight directly to the Volkswagen Golf R.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the likes of the A45 and Audi RS 3 were getting a little beyond the sweet spot for a hot hatch. Sitting below the A45 but above the A250, which some will say isn’t hot enough, the A35 is right on the money for a modern fast hatch.
Because it retains four-wheel drive this happy middle-ground machine should slap down a 0-62mph sprint in around 4.5 seconds, leaving the A45 to drop below the four-second mark. There won’t be much to set the two true AMG cars apart at the kerbside, but the A35 will get a twin-exhaust arrangement versus the A45’s four.
Adaptive damping that uses less extreme settings is one possibility for the A35’s bouncy bits, but a passive setup would be cheaper and help the car dip down to the £35,000-ish starting price point Mercedes is aiming at.
Power will beat the car’s main competitors, according to reports, which puts the target number north of 300bhp. The Golf R currently sits at 296bhp after it lost 10bhp in an emissions-related reshuffle. AMG wants the A35 to be faster to 62mph and 124mph than the Volkswagen Group rivals, too.
The car is due to arrive in the middle of 2019. We wonder what VW and Audi are cooking up in response…