The Mercedes-AMG A35 has been revealed, set to take on the likes of the Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R when it lands in Australia in the second half of next year.
Power in the 'base' hot hatch comes from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol making 225kW of power (@5800-6100rpm) and 400Nm of torque, available from 3000rpm.
That grunt is sent to an AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive system through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Mercedes says the performance-oriented drivetrain can send up to 50 per cent of torque to the rear axle.
In terms of performance, Mercedes-AMG claims the AMG A35 will sprint from 0-100 in just 4.7 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h.
By way of comparison, Australian-delivered versions of the Audi S3 claim to hit triple figures in 4.8 seconds when fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic – it's worth noting, however, local models are slightly detuned compared to their European counterparts.
Stopping power comes from 350mm front and 330mm rear brake discs, with silver four-piston front and single-piston rear calipers respectively. The discs are internally ventilated and perforated, too.
As for the design, Mercedes-AMG has made numerous changes to the standard A-Class hatchback, including a new front apron with flics on each side, and a front splitter. There's also 18-inch AMG light alloy wheels in twin-spoke design with a chrome lip, more pronounced side skirts, a new rear diffuser, a large rear wing, and two large round tailpipe finishers.
Those tailpipes are connected to an AMG exhaust system with an automatically-controlled flap modulating the sound from "balanced to powerful" depending on drive mode.
Speaking of drive modes, there are five to choose from – Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. Each tweaks things like the response of the engine and transmission, along with the exhaust sound.
There's additional adjustment for the ESP system, with 'Basic' and 'Advanced' modes on offer, while the optional adaptive damper systems come with three modes as well.
Under the skin, there's a MacPherson front suspension setup, with a four-link system at the rear for enhanced "stability and agility".
Inside, the AMG A35 builds on the A-Class cabin which already incorporates the company's new dual-screen MBUX infotainment system, complete with AMG-specific displays and content.
There's also a new leather/microfibre AMG steering wheel with touch-capacitive controls already seen in the updated AMG C-Class, E-Class and S-Class ranges, which also features galvanised shift paddles.
Front occupants are treated to AMG sports seats available in a range of trims, including leather/microfibre with red contrasting stitching and seatbelts, or with the digital grey accents you see here.
Opting for the red interior accents also gets you red piping on the microfibre cabin trim element and a red ring for the air vent nozzles.
The AMG A35 is also available with AMG Track Pace telemetry, which is incorporated into MBUX to log more than 80 vehicle-specific data points while driving on a track.
Some features include lap and sector times, and the system can display maps for certain major race tracks – think the Nurburgring or Spa Francorchamps.
Mercedes-AMG will debut the A35 at the Paris motor show from October 2, ahead of a European market launch in January 2019.
The AMG A35 will head Down Under in the second half of 2019, the company's local arm has confirmed.
Australian pricing and specifications will be revealed closer to launch. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.
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