Uh oh, the Audi S3 Sedan could be in trouble!

The Mercedes-AMG A35 is an upcoming performance-oriented version of the A-Class Sedan. The A35 will slot between the recently unveiled A-Class Sedan and the upcoming Mercedes-AMG A45. The beefed-up sedan will compete against the Audi S3 Sedan in the U.S. and the BMW 1 Series Sedan in China.

After four years with the Audi A3 Sedan being the only four-door on the premium compact market, Mercedes-Benz decided its time to jump in with a three-box version of the popular A-Class. Alongside the standard model, we’ll also get the potent AMG A45, and according to recent spy shots, a milder AMG variant too. The latter will be called the AMG A35, a name already confirmed by a hatchback version.

While the new A-Class is spectacular in just about every department and sports the most beautiful interior in the compact market, the really big news about the A-Class Sedan is that it will be a global vehicle. Merc has big plans for the A-Class and has already confirmed that the sedan will be sold in the U.S. The regular model should be followed by both AMG versions, including this one.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG A35.

Exterior

  • CLS-Inspired Front End
  • Sportier Nose
  • Aggressive Bumper
  • 18-Inch Wheels
  • Coupe-Style roof
  • Bigger trunk lid spoiler
  • Optional Multibeam LED Lights

The sporty sedan is hidden under a lot of camo, but having already seen the hatchback model with the AMG A35 package, the exterior design isn’t much of a mystery.

The new, aggressive design of the headlamps will make the A-Class Sedan looks like a shrunken CLS up front. The main grille will also be based on the CLS in terms of shape and size. The spy shots confirm that it will be wider toward the bottom and take inspiration from the AMG GT’s Panamericana grille. But while the standard A-Class has the diamond radiator layout with silver horizontal bars on each side of the tri-star emblem, the AMG A35 will sport a black mesh.

As seen on the hatchback model, the bumper won’t be significantly more aggressive than the regular A-Class. The unit will be taken from the AMG Line and feature a bigger splitter, flics on the air intakes, and small winglets on the sides.

Onto the sides, the car will remain familiar from the nose to the C-pillar, but rear section will be longer due to the three-box style layout. But instead of a boxy, traditional shape, the A-Class sedan has a coupe-style roofline and a sloping decklid. In other words, it will be very similar to the CLA. Both the deck lid and the rear overhang are short though, so the sedan is significantly longer than the hatchback. Notable changes from the regular model will include AMG Line side sills with a slightly sportier design, new 18-inch alloy wheels, and a lower ride height.

The already familiar rear fascia of the A-Class Sedan will get a few extras in AMG A35 trim as well. Look for a pair of flics on each side vent, a diffuser-like elements that extends the bumper closer to the ground, and integrated round exhaust pipes. It the absence of a tailgate, the sedan won’t get the hatchback’s big roof spoiler, but trunk lid element will provide more downforce.

Interior

  • Modern Interior Design
  • All-Digital Instrument Cluster
  • 10.5-Inch Infotainment Display
  • 64-Color Ambient Lighting
  • New MBUX Infotainment System
  • Revised Trunk Section

As seen in the regular sedan, the cabin will be identical to the new-generation hatchback. And this is great news, as the new A-Class is not only a gorgeous place to spend time in, but it’s also packed with the latest technology out there.

The big news is that it borrows some features from the bigger Mercedes models, setting a new standard in the premium compact segment. The wing-shaped, multi-tier dashboard comes in a two-tone finish and includes turbine-style A/C vents at each corner. More vents can be seen on the center stack, which has a clean, high-tech design.

The instrument cluster and infotainment display have the same layout as in the larger S-Class and CLS models. Although not placed under a big hood, they’re connected to each other creating the impression of a really long screen that stretches over the driver’s side half of the dashboard. Display options should be similar to the hatchback, with the more expensive models, including the AMG A35, likely to get two 10.25-inch screens.

Highlights will also include a unique ambient lighting system with 64 colors and the brand-new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. MBUX has ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence and it can also be customized through augmented reality technology and intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition.

The sedan will also benefit from the extra legroom, shoulder room, and headroom that comes with the fourth-generation hatchback. The layout in the rear section will remain unchanged for the sedan, although headroom might decrease a bit due to the sloping roof. Also expect it to get the optional seat climate control and the Multicontour Seat package with massage function for the front seats (a first in this segment).

Now that we’ve recapped the features of the new-generation A-Class, it’s time to take a look at what will set the AMG A35 model apart. To be honest, it won’t get that many special features. At least not as many as the range-topping AMG A45. As seen in the hatchback, the seats will be covered in black leather and microfiber, with red stitching to add a bit of color. Mercedes-Benz will also offer a black and grey two-tone upholstery. Red piping on the seats and door panels and red A/C rings should complete the AMG look.

A flat-bottom AMG steering wheel is also on the table. It will have perforated leather on the grip areas, red contrast stitching, and built-in touch controls that operate the displays of the instrument cluster and infotainment system. The optional round controller with integrated display will enable you to activate and change the AMG driving modes.

Other extras should include an AMG-specific center console with piano lacquer finish and additional buttons for ESP, manual transmission mode, and Adaptive Damping System, as well as bespoke start-up screens and apps. Finally, you’ll be able to order the AMG Track Pace app too, which records performance-related data to provide you with info while racing the car on the track. The apps includes tracks like the Nurburgring and Spa Francorchamps but it also lets you record your own circuits.

Drivetrain

  • Souped-up 2.0-liter engine
  • 306 horsepower
  • 295 pound-feet of torque
  • Standard AWD system
  • AMG Speedshift gearbox
  • 0 to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds
  • New "Slippery" mode
2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan Exterior Spyshots
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The engine cranks out 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of twist, an extra 85 horses and 37 pound-foot over the A250

As the name suggests, the AMG A35 will slot below the beefed-up A45 and above the A250 model. The A45 is predicted to have close to 400 horsepower, while the new A250 features a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 224 horsepower. While my initial prediction included a hybrid EQ Boost drivetrain similar to that in the AMG CLS53, the hatchback version of the AMG A35 arrived with a beefed-up version of the A250’s four-cylinder mill.

The engine cranks out 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of twist, an extra 85 horses and 37 pound-foot over the A250 version. Needless to say, it splits the difference between the A250 and the upcoming, 400-horsepower AMG A45 quite nicely.

Just like the hatchback, it will need 4.7 seconds to hit 62 mph

All that oomph will travel to all four wheels through an AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission and a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. The gearbox will have a special setup for almost spontaneous acceleration, as well as a Race-Start function for quicker off-the-line sprints. The AWD system was also revised specifically for the AMG A35. It keeps the vehicle front-wheel driven, but it delivers a perfect 50:50 distribution to the front and rear axles when needed. A multi-disc clutch that is integrated into the rear axle transmission is responsible for the variable torque distribution.

How quick will it be? Well, the hatchback needs 4.7 seconds to hit 62 mph, and it’s safe to assume that the sedan will arrive with similar performance. This benchmark makes the AMG A35 one and a half seconds quicker than the A250. Cool!

Just like the hatchback, the sedan will feature an AMG Dynamic Select program with five driving modes

Just like the hatchback, the sedan will feature an AMG Dynamic Select program with five driving modes. "Comfort" will be the default setup and will set the suspension and steering for comfortable and fuel-efficient driving. The start/stop system is active, while the transmission is set up for very early upshifts.

2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan Exterior Spyshots
- image 765513

When the "Sport" model is selected, the emphasis moves on agility and sporty driving. The sound of the engine becomes more aggressive, while the start/stop system is turned off. "Sport+" has similar settings but also introduces double-declutching during downshifts and partial cylinder cut-off.

Next up is "Slippery," a brand-new mode for the A-Class. Optimized for slippery road conditions, it uses reduced power and a flat torque curve. Upshifts come earlier, and gear changes are smoother. Finally, the “Individual” driving program enables the individual parameters to be selected and saved according to personal preference.

Suspension and Brakes

  • Revised suspension
  • Stiffer springs
  • Increased torsional stiffness
  • Bigger brakes
2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan Exterior Spyshots
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The bolted aluminum plate under the engine and additional diagonal braces increase torsional stiffness

As you’d expect from an AMG model, the suspension will be revised in order to handle the extra power. The hatchback model rides on the same McPherson strut system at the front and four-link axle to the rear, but both are firmer for a sportier ride. The AMG model also sports a bolted aluminum plate under the engine and additional diagonal braces for increased torsional stiffness.

The braking system will also be upgraded compared to the standard A-Class. The AMG A35 hatchback uses a higher performance system that that shares some features with the outgoing A45 model and the sedan should get the same internals. Up front, it will have new four-piston Monoblock calipers with 13.7-inch discs, while the rear wheels will be fitted with one-piston, sliding calipers and 13-inch discs.

Safety

  • State-Of-The-Art Safety Systems
  • Improved Camera And Radar System
  • Active Distance Assist
  • Active Brake Assist
  • Pre-Safe Plus Package
  • Airbags Front and Rear
2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- image 765475
The AMG A35 will be one of the most modern vehicle in its class in terms of safety features

As it is the case with all Mercs, the AMG A35 will be one of the most modern vehicles in its class in terms of safety features. The impressive array of active and passive systems from the A-Class hatchback will most definitely make it into the sedan, starting with the car’s ability to keep a close eye on the traffic with an improved camera and radar systems that allow it to see up to 500 meters (0.3 miles) ahead. In conjunction with navigation data and Active Distance Assist Distronic, the sedan will be pretty close to a semi-autonomous vehicle.

Other features will include Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, and Active Brake Assist as standard. The Pre-Safe Plus, found on larger models, will be offered as an option.

Passive features will include airbags for the driver and front passenger, a driver’s knee bag, and window bags on both sides as standard. The latter also covers the A-pillar, a first in this segment. Thorax-pelvis side bags are standard in the front and available as optional equipment for the rear passenger compartment.

Prices

With U.S. pricing for the new A-Class Sedan not yet available, it’s difficult to estimate a sticker for the AMG A35. My best guess is that the base A-Class will come in at around €25,000, while the A250 will start from around €38,000. The AMG A45 version is likely to come in at around €53,000, so I expect the AMG A35 to fetch about €44,000 before options. In the U.S., it will be probably cost a tad more than the Audi S3 Sedan, so look for a sticker of around $44,000 to $46,000.

Competition

Audi S3 Sedan

2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Sedan
- image 671840

Much like the Audi A3 was the first premium hatchback, the A3 Sedan was the first three-box vehicle to enter the premium segment. It happened in 2013, and it took more than four years to get a proper competitor. With the A-Class Sedan and the upcoming AMG A45 Sedan set to go against the regular A3 and RS3 respectively, the AMG A35 will take on the S3 Sedan version. Available since 2013 and updated in 2017, the S3 badge adds a handful of sporty features on the outside and extra equipment inside the cabin. But it’s the drivetrain that makes the S3 an appealing four-door, as the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out an impressive 310 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This output is available for U.S. cars with the seven-speed S Tronic automatic transmission. In Europe, the manual version delivers 280 pound-feet. Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes less than five seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph. Pricing starts from $43,650.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi S3 Sedan.

BMW 1 Series Sedan

2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan High Resolution Exterior
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After years of rumors, BMW finally introduced a three-box body style for the 1 Series hatchback. Unfortunately, the German sedan comes with two issues. For starters, it was designed for the Chinese market only. This could change in the future, but for the time being, you can’t buy it anywhere else in the world, not even in Europe. Second, it has yet to receive a higher performance variant, so even if it comes to the U.S., it won’t be able to match the power of the Audi S3 and the Mercedes-AMG A35. Its most potent iteration is the 125i, which sports the familiar 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 231 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It’s not exactly a slouch, but it’s a full two seconds slower from 0 to 60 mph.

Read our full story on the BMW 1 Series Sedan.

Conclusion

2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan Exterior Spyshots
- image 765517

Although I’m not a big fan of the current industry trends with all sorts of niche models, I’m actually glad that Mercedes created a sedan version of the A-Class. The new hatchback is definitely hot, and a four-door variant will enable drivers that can’t afford a big Merc (or not even a CLA) to surge into dealerships. A new AMG model placed between the A250 and the AMG A45 also makes sense given the 150+ horsepower gap between the two. The good news is that unlike the hatchback, the sedan will come to the United States, where Mercedes-Benz really lacks a competitor for the higher performance versions of the Audi A3 Sedan.

  • Leave it
    • Could be a bit more expensive than the S3

References

Mercedes A-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior
- image 764946

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

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