AMG goes ‘affordable’ with new Mercedes A35

Mercedes AMG A35

Mercedes-Benz has added a new nomenclature to its A-Class range, which should be of significant interest to keen drivers who are followers of the German brand.

The A-Class compact luxury car architecture is very profitable for Mercedes-Benzes. It is also a crucial part of the brand’s futureproofing.

For decades, Mercedes-Benz traded old-world luxury vehicle values, but during the 1990s, it realised that successful young customers were being lured away by Audi and BMW.

A smaller and more daringly styled product range was deemed to be the remedy and so A-Class came into being.

The current A-Class range comprises the five-door hatchback, a loping roofline CLA four-door, and the more conventional sedan configuration.

With these three model lines, Mercedes-Benz has invigorated its ownership profile by conquering much younger customers.

For those potential compact car buyers, who are gravitating towards a Mercedes-Benz purchase, the issue has always been the AMG 45-series cars. These high-performance A-Class derivatives are perhaps a touch too potent and outrageous for most, catering for a very dedicated segment of the market.

If you want a really fast A-Class performance car, but don’t quite need something with near supercar A45 AMG performance, Mercedes-Benz now has a great solution. The company’s new 35-series cars have arrived in South Africa.

Powered by a very sophisticated 2-litre four-cylinder engine, the 35-series uses turbocharging to boost 225kW and 400Nm. These outputs are delivered to the road via a trick all-wheel-drive system, which ensures excellent traction in all weather conditions.

As with all high-performance Mercedes-Benz products, AMG has consulted on the 35-series cars and provided many of the crucial components.

An example is the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which gives one a convenient automatic function in traffic, but can be capable of rapid shifts with manual override.

Speeds and other features

Due to slight variances in weight, the new A35s all have different 0-100kph acceleration profiles. The hatch is quickest, at 4.7 seconds.

It’s followed by the sedan, at 4.8 seconds; and lastly, the stylish sloping roofline CLA35, at 4.9 seconds.

Beyond the very rapid but manageable performance, there are some tidy styling upgrades. These differentiate the new 35-series variants from other A-Classes.

Up front there is a more pronounced AMG-sourced bumper, with larger air intakes and bolder radiator grille. Around the rear, there are large-diameter exhaust ends to signal the dynamic potential of these new Mercedes-Benz compact cars.

All three of these new AMG-themed Mercedes-Benz products feature a re-equipped cabin architecture.

The flat-bottom steering wheel is meant to have superior knee clearance, whilst the gearbox’s paddle-shift override buttons are metal instead of plastic. Digitisation is also catered for with the latest MBUX infotainment interface, delivering some of the best voice activation around.

Mercedes-Benz A35 price in South Africa

Pricing for Mercedes-Benz’s new performance car additions starts at R850 000 for an A35 hatch.

The price increases to R858 520 for the sedan and peaks at R956 640 for the sloping roofline CLA35.

Feature image: Mercedes-Benz

Read more: Updated F-Type brings Jaguar’s best to South Africa

Lance Branquinho


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