2020 Mercedes-AMG A 35 L
German automaker offers a performance-focused stretched sedan for its lovely clientele in Chinaby Kirby Garlitos, on
The Chinese market has always been a hotbed for limousines. In recent years, though, a different kind of limousine has enraptured the hearts and wallets of Chinese consumers. Stretched sedans have exploded in popularity in the People’s Republic, so much so that automakers from all over the world build these models specifically to cater to the whims of the Chinese car-buying population. Mercedes-Benz has taken full advantage of this. It offers the A-Class L, C-Class L, and now, the AMG A 35 L. As the name implies, the AMG A 35 L carries a bit of AMG’s racy DNA with it. It’s fast, powerful, and, most importantly in this instance, has a stretched out interior that provides more rear legroom space for an owner to take full advantage of as the business of hard labor is left in the hands and feet of the hired chauffeur. The Mercedes-AMG A 35 L is the latest example of the automotive mind meld that is the stretched sedan. But, hey, it’s popular in China, and what’s popular in the world’s largest auto market is a goldmine for auto brands like Mercedes. Better get used to the stretched sedans; it doesn’t look like they’re going away anytime soon.
2020 Mercedes-AMG A 35 L
Horsepower @ RPM:306 @ 5800
Torque @ RPM:295 @ 4000
0-60 time:4.8 sec.
Top Speed:155 mph
- Design adopted from standard Mercedes-AMG A 35
- 181.45 inches (4,609 mm) long from end to end
- 109.8-inch (2,789 mm) wheelbase
- Comes with AMG Line parts and accessories
- 19-inch alloy wheels
There are no surprise details here as far as visuals are concerned. The Mercedes-AMG A35 L shares a lot of similarities with the AMG 35; both models are heavily based on the A-Class and infused with a cadre of AMG-specific equipment.
You can see this design formula manifest itself in a number of areas, beginning in the front section of the stretched sedan.
The first thing you’ll notice is the radiator grille design. The section is covered in fine mesh with the Mercedes logo sitting right smack in the middle, flanked by two horizontal chrome bars on each side. Out on the edges are slanted headlamps that look exactly like the ones you’ll get if you buy the Mercedes-AMG A35. Twin louvers on each side of the AMG 35 L are also noticeable. Down below, AMG’s influence takes shape with the AMG Line bumper. If you have a hard time differentiating the AMG-Line bumper with that from the standard A-Class, look for the bigger splitter on the AMG 35 L. That and the small winglets on the sides, and the thin sheets in the horizontal intakes are small details that you won’t see on the standard A-Class.
Over at the rear, the AMG 35 L boasts its own spoiler and diffuser insert. Perhaps it’s in the angle of the photos, but the spoiler is a tad bit more obvious on the stretched A 35 than the standard sedan counterpart. If anything, don’t be surprised if the spoiler is bigger on the AMG 35 L.
The spoiler isn’t as prominent as the one you’ll see in the hatch version of the AMG 35.
That one, which is mounted on the roof, makes the AMG A 35 look like a proper rally car. Down below is the diffuser insert, which is a common theme among all AMG A35 variants. The design is similar, too, and, if for nothing else, extends the bumper closer to the ground, giving the stretched sedan a sporty feel to it. Like the front, the rear bumper also comes with a pair of flics on each side vent. The four-slat element is flanked by round tailpipes integrated into the black trim.
The side profile of the AMG 35 L is where you’ll spot the biggest difference.
Like the sedan, the AMG 35 L sits on a set of 19-inch alloy wheels wearing a twin-spoke design. Side sill panels are also present, sourced from the AMG Line The biggest and most obvious difference is the sedan’s length. This is where the AMG 35 L gets its identity. Overall, the sedan’s wheelbase measures 109.8 inches (2,789 mm). That’s 2.36 inches longer (60 mm) than the standard A-Class and the A35 sedan. Unfortunately, the Mercedes-AMG A35 L falls short in this department compared to some of its rivals in the Chinese market. The Jaguar XEL is a competitor, and it has a few inches in the wheelbase department at 116 inches (2,946 mm). That’s 4.0 inches (101.6 mm) longer than the standard XE. The winner in this regard, though, is the BMW 3 Series LWB, which, not so coincidentally, also made its debut at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show with the Mercedes-AMG A 35 L. The 3er LWB’s wheelbase measures 116.5 inches (2,959 mm) wheelbase. That’s almost six inches longer than the AMG A 35 L and 4.3 inches (109.22 mm) longer than the standard 3 Series.
Sure, the Mercedes C-Class L is actually the more direct competitor for the BMW 3 Series LWB, the Jaguar XEL, and the Audi A3 L. But given that Mercedes is now offering its customers in China the option to choose between the C-Class L, the A-Class L, and the AMG A 35 L, the latter should be mentioned in the discussion among affordable stretched sedans in a market that can’t seem to get enough of them.
Despite coming in on the short end of the wheelbase comparison, the Mercedes-AMG A 35 L holds its own in this regard: it still provides the extra space in the interior that all of its customers yearn for. That is, after all, why it’s stretched in the first place. Overall, the AMG A 35 L and the AMG A 35 have identical measurements in terms of width and height: 70.7 inches wide (4,549 mm) and 56.9 inches (1,446 mm) high. Where the AMG A 35 L has the edge is in length where it measures 181.45 inches (4,609 mm) long from end to end. By comparison, the standard model measures 179.1 inches long (4,549 mm) covering the same distance.
- Extra rear legroom space
- Newest infotainment/instrument cluster technology
- MBUX infotainment system
- Ambient lighting with 64 colors
- 14.8 cubic feet in cargo room
Space, space, and more space. I imagine that as Mercedes’ tagline with regards to the AMG A 35 L. After all, the stretched sedan exists for that specific purpose, hence the “L” in its nomenclature. As you might expect, all the other details regarding the A 35 L’s interior aren’t exactly groundbreaking. Most of its features, if not all, are identical to that of the standard AMG A 35. Not that it’s a bad thing because the AMG A 35 is loaded with the good stuff, specifically of the tech variety.
In typical Mercedes fashion, the German automaker didn’t waste the opportunity to flex its technological might.
Most of the features you’ll see from the AMG A 35 L are also the same features you’ll see in some of the automaker’s bigger models.
You could say that Mercedes is spoiling its customer base with the lavishness of its offerings, but that’s also typical Merc. There’s a reason it’s earned the reputation as one of the best automakers in the world.
In any event, the upscale look of the AMG A 35 L starts with the wing-shaped, multi-tier dashboard. Turbine-style A/C vents occupy the space at opposite ends of the dash while more of the same vents — three in total — can be seen on the center stack. You’ll also notice that the stack doesn’t connect with the center tunnel in the traditional sense. That creates the aesthetic of a floating dash, a go-to design trait among premium automakers. The AMG A 35L’s long instrument cluster and infotainment display sit in the middle of the dashboard.
If you have a Mercedes S-Class or even a CLS-Class, you’ll notice the similarities in both their size and layout.
They’re also connected to each other, which creates the impression of length. The display actually stretches to the other end of the center stack. Visually, it looks stunning, especially when the sedan’s unique ambient lighting system is in full glow. Speaking of which, Merc’s ambient lighting system comes with 64 different colors that can, presumably, set 64 different mood settings.
The display itself isn’t there simply for aesthetic purposes. It also serves as the gateway that allows you to access Merc’s new MBUX infotainment system.
By now, Mercedes has done a good job hammering home the functional points of its new tech, including its artificial intelligence function that allows comes with intelligent voice control and natural speech recognition, among other functions. Likewise, the “Hey Mercedes!” voice command is also a prominent feature of the stretched sedan. The system itself can also be customized through augmented reality technology, a feature that probably has no business in past entry-level Mercedes models. But we live in a new world now, and this world is a lot more fun than the one we previously occupied. These days, there’s no such thing as a low-scale Mercedes. Even a car like the AMG A 35 L that typically sits at the lower rungs of the Mercedes model ladder can get in on the fun of the company’s new technologies.
That’s all great, but that’s also not what defines the Mercedes-AMG A 35 L. For that, you need to turn your attention to the extra space generated by the stretched wheelbase. Rear-seat passengers, in particular, will benefit from almost 40 inches of headroom that’s available in the stretched sedan. It’s a generous amount of space for a car that technically still qualifies as a compact sedan, even if it is a tab longer than it’s standard configuration. Curiously, Mercedes made no mention of the extra space in the rear legroom.
Instead, it announced that the stretched sedan boasts 420 liters — that converts to about 14.8 cubic feet — of cargo space.
It seems like if there’s a spec that needs to be divulged, it would be the one that’s affected most by the stretched wheelbase. In any event, the rear-seat layout remains unchanged for the AMG A 35 L, but rest assured, there’s more knee and legroom space there for passengers, thanks to the sedan’s longer wheelbase.
- 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
- 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque
- 4.9-second, 0-to-62-mph time
- Electronically limited 155-mph top speed
The Mercedes-AMG A 35 L gets its power from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
It’s the same engine that’s sitting under the hood of the standard A 35 and the output numbers are, well, identical, at 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
Fortunately, there is significant differentiation between the AMG A 35 L’s output and that of the standard A-Class L that’s also available in the Chinese market. For those who aren’t hung up completely on power and performance, the A-Class L offers a more conservative and diverse engine lineup, beginning with a new 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that was actually developed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The four-banger produces two different power figures: 134 horsepower and 161 horsepower. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit is also available in the A-Class L. This powertrain arrived a bit later than the smaller engines, but it does provide more ooomph to the tune of 181 horsepower. The power figures are still a long ways off compared to what the AMG A 35 L is capable of, though that is a product of AMG’s involvement in the latter. No surprises there.
What is a bit surprising is the way Mercedes-AMG set up the A 35 L to carry more power than class-above counterparts like the BMW 3 Series LWB and the Audi A4 L. The 3 Series LWB, in particular, comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes “only” 184 horsepower and 300 221 lb-ft. The Audi A4 L comes a bit closer to approaching the AMG A 35 L’s power figures, but with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI unit, it still falls short in that department, even with two power options — 190 horsepower and 252 horsepower — to choose from.
So the AMG A 35 L takes the cake in this round, though that is mostly a byproduct of AMG DNA getting sprinkled all over the sedan.
It’s not just about the power figures, too. The stretched performance sedan also features a standard seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels courtesy of the automaker’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. With all the powertrain pieces in place, the AMG A 35 L can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds on its way to a top speed run that tops out at 155 mph.
The AMG A 35 L’s bigger frame means that the standard version of the high-performance sedan can sprint a tad faster than its stretched counterpart. The numbers back that up as the former can hit 62 mph from a standstill position in just 4.7 seconds. Top speed, though, maxes out at 155 mph, as well.
|Engine||2.0-litre 4-cylinder in-line with exhaust gas turbocharger|
|Max. output||225 kW (306 hp) at 5800 rpm|
|Peak torque||400 Nm at 3000-4000 rpm|
|Drive system||AMG Performance 4MATIC variable all-wheel drive|
|Transmission||AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||4.9 s|
|Top speed||250 km/h*|
Pricing details for the Mercedes-AMG A 35 L are not yet available, though I don’t suspect it’s going to matter to us because the model isn’t headed to the U.S. market. The stretched out AMG A 35 L will only be sold in China where Mercedes, like most premium automakers, has made a killing selling models like this, and, in doing so, created a niche segment seemingly out of thin air. Without a specific price point, the AMG A 35 L’s likely price point could hit north of $50,000. We know that the standard A-Class Sedan starts at $32,500 here in the U.S. and the AMG A35 starts at around $45,000. Without taking tax values into the equation, a $50,000 price tag could be realistic.
Regardless of the price tag, the AMG A35 L shouldn’t have any problems finding buyers in the Chinese market, at least if you use the A-Class L as a barometer. Since Mercedes started selling the A-Class L in China last November, Mercedes has already sold 17,387 models, including a monthly high of 5,646 sold units last January. The AMG A35 L comes with a premium, but if you want the most expensive version of the most affordable Mercedes with plenty of legroom in the back, then the AMG A35 L is yours for the taking when it becomes available in the Chinese market.
The growing popularity of stretched sedans in China was on full display at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. Yep. Mercedes wasn’t the only German automaker in attendance with a stretched sedan in tow. BMW was also there with the 3 Series LWB. Like the AMG A 35 L, the 3 Series LWB — 3 Series Li, as it is called in China — proudly touts its longer body, which extends to 190.1 inches long. That’s 4.72 inches longer than the Euro-spec 3 Series, and that increase in length also extends to its wheelbase where it now measures a pretty generous 116.5 inches. Since the 3 Series Li is a China-exclusive model, buyers in the People’s Republic can take great comfort knowing that they’ll have a generous amount of extra room to stretch their presumably tired and weary legs. In addition to interior comfort levels going up a notch, the 3 Series Li is powered by Bimmer’s tried and tested 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces a tidy 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The four-banger connects to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which, in turn, is responsible for distributing the power to the wheels, allowing the stretched sedan to hit 62 mph from a standstill position in just 7.2 seconds. Top speed is limited to just 148 mph, though I don’t suspect owners of the 3 Series Li to have any thoughts of pushing the stretched sedan to its performance limits. When you’re riding in a car like this — or you’re being driven around — the last thing on your mind is to break speed records. It’s all about rolling in style with the 3 Series Li, as it is with models of similar physical ilk like the Mercedes-AMG A 35 L. The new BMW 3 Series Li will arrive in the Chinese market sometime in the middle of 2019. No price has been set, but based on the sales success of the stretched variant in the country — BMW sold a whopping 134,479 units of the long-wheelbase 3 Series in 2018 — Bimmer shouldn’t have any issues selling the all-new model once it arrives in a few month’s time.
Read our full review on the 2020 BMW 3 Series LWB
If you thought the BMW 3 Series Li ruled the stretched sedan segment in the Chinese market last year, think again. The winner in this department is the Audi A4L, and it wasn’t even close. Last year, Audi sold a staggering 167,923 units of the A4L in China, putting it well out of the BMW 3 Series Li’s reach. The stretched sedan’s popularity in China can’t be understated, nor can Audi’s development of the model. As it is, the current A4l stretches 189.4 inches in total length. It’s not as aesthetically long as its BMW counterpart, and its 114.6-inch wheelbase also falls short compared to the 3 Series Li and the new Mercedes-AMG A 35 L. Still, Audi makes up for it by offering the A4L with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 190 horsepower to go with a cushier suspension setup that helps improve ride comfort. If that setup isn’t powerful enough, a more potent tune of the same engine delivers 250 horsepower. That’s a lot more powerful than the 3 Series Li and close to the 302-horsepower output of the AMG A 35 L. Comfort has always been one of Audi’s trademarks, and that comfort extends to a lightweight suspension system that offers sensitive response characteristics that work in concert with an electromechanical power steering system that should make the A4L one of the most comfortable cars in its segment to ride in. No wonder Chinese buyers love the A4L.
Read our full review on the 2018 Audi A4L
The idea of stretched sedans sounds silly on paper, but if you think about it, these models make a lot of sense. They’re essentially limousines for the not-so-rich-and-famous. They offer everything you get from a premium sedan with the added benefit of extra room for your legs, specifically in the back seats. The Mercedes-AMG A 35 L is great in that regard, but it also comes with grade-A technological features and the benefit of a powerful engine, or at least one that’s more powerful than what you can get from its rivals. A 300-horsepower stretched sedan isn’t something you scoff at; it’s something you buy and enjoy. Sure, there’s still a part of me that sees the stretched sedan as a gimmick, but given its popularity in China, there’s no reason why automakers like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Jaguar shouldn’t tap into that sales gold mine. The Chinese love them, and these automakers are more than willing to take full advantage of that. Good for them, good for everyone.
Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan
Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz A35 Hatchback.
Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.