Mercedes-AMG has continued its aggressive range expansion and put the Audi S3 sedan in its sights, unveiling the A35 Sedan ahead of its Australian arrival at the start of 2019's fourth quarter.
When it arrives, the three-box A35 and its hatchback brother will go head-to-head with the Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R. Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making 225kW and 400Nm, put to the road through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
That powertrain, combined with all-wheel drive, helps the A35 hit 100km/h in 4.8 seconds from standstill, 0.1 seconds slower than the hatchback. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.
Mercedes-Benz says the car can shuffle 50 per cent of the engine's torque to the rear axle when required, for light-footed handling. When it comes time to stop there are 350mm brake discs up front and 320mm units down back, clamped by four-piston front and single-piston rear calipers.
From the outside, AMG has taken a more conservative approach with the A35 Sedan than it did with the hatchback. Compared to the regular A-Class sedan, the AMG gets a more aggressive rear diffuser and twin exhaust pipes, a subtle lip spoiler, and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels. A set of 19s are available, naturally.
There's a lower, wider front bumper with gaping air intakes, and the same grille offered on the hatchback. There are no flics or tacked-on ducts, though, and the hatch was launched on racier black wheels. Is AMG courting a more grown-up market with the sedan? The launch car's specification says yes.
With that said, the Aerodynamics Package and Night Package are both available to make the car look a bit... meaner.
Behind the wheel, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the sedan from the hatchback. Actually, they're identical. That means the dual-screen MBUX infotainment system is standard, along with the leather steering wheel from larger AMG models with touch-based controls.
Both driver and passenger sit in AMG sports seats, available with leather or leather and microfibre trim, and a choice of contrast seatbelts. Owners are also able to customise their interior lighting through the MBUX system, for full colour coordination.
While we're talking customisation, there are a whopping five drive modes to choose from here: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual.
Each adjusts the powertrain and exhaust sound (which can be toggled from 'balanced' to powerful' independently) based on what's required. More ESP modes are available, while the optional adaptive dampers have three settings.
The A35 sedan will arrive at the start of 2019's fourth quarter, or "within weeks" of the hatchback. Pricing and specs will be announced closer to launch.
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