Se­cond tier for hot-hatch range

Whangarei Report - - DRIVEN.CO.NZ -

With the new A 200 hatch en­joy­ing its first few weeks in the New Zealand mar­ket, Mercedes-amg has just an­nounced de­tails of the first hot ver­sion of the fourth gen­er­a­tion A-class.

In a re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of A-class line-up, the de­but of the Mercedes-amg A 35 4Matic in­tro­duces a new AMG nu­mer­i­cal des­ig­na­tion and ef­fec­tively pro­vides a re­place­ment for the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion A 250 Sport 4Matic.

The new A 35 4Matic will make its global de­but at the Paris Mo­tor Show next week ahead of go­ing on sale in Europe from Jan­uary 2019. It pro­vides a se­cond tier to the AMG hot-hatch range while de­tails still re­main un­der wraps about the re­place­ment for the high per­for­mance A 45 4Matic model.

The per­for­mance for­mula for the A 35 4Matic in­tro­duces a new 2.0-litre four-cylin­der en­gine with twin scroll tur­bocharg­ing de­vel­op­ing 225kw at 5800-6100rpm. Peak torque from the new en­gine is 400Nm from 3000rpm and Mercedes-amg claims ac­cel­er­a­tion from 0-100km/h in 4.7 sec­onds.

This level of per­for­mance and all-wheel-drive ca­pa­bil­ity makes the new A 35 4Matic a di­rect ri­val to the Audi S3 and leaves the next gen­er­a­tion A 45 4Matic to con­tinue com­pet­ing with the Audi RS3. The 2.0-litre turbo en­gine is based on the M 260 four-cylin­der en­gine in the new A-class and fea­tures a light­weight die-cast alu­minium crank­case. The hous­ing of the twin-scroll tur­bocharger is di­vided into two par­al­lel ducts and to­gether with two sep­a­rate ex­haust ducts in the ex­haust man­i­fold, this makes it pos­si­ble to chan­nel the ex­haust gases sep­a­rately on the tur­bine wheel.

The AMG Speed­shift DCT 7G dual-clutch trans­mis­sion in­cludes a Race-start func­tion for max­i­mum ac­cel­er­a­tion from sta­tion­ary and the stan­dard AMG Per­for­mance 4Matic sys­tem al­lows torque dis­tri­bu­tion to suit the dy­namic han­dling re­quire­ments from front-wheel drive only to a 50:50 dis­tri­bu­tion to the front and rear axles. Five AMG Dy­namic Se­lect driv­ing pro­grammes — Slip­pery, Com­fort, Sport, Sport + and In­di­vid­ual — en­able a wide range of ve­hi­cle char­ac­ter­is­tics from com­fort­able to dy­namic. They change rel­e­vant pa­ram­e­ters, such as the re­sponse of the en­gine and trans­mis­sion.

The new “Slip­pery” drive programme is op­ti­mised for slip­pery road con­di­tions, with re­duced power and a flat torque curve.

The AMG Ride Con­trol sus­pen­sion lay­out is based on the new Mercedes-benz A-class with Mcpher­son struts fit­ted on the front axle with an Amg-spe­cific front steer­ing knuckle and a ra­di­ally bolted brake cal­liper — a tech­nol­ogy orig­i­nat­ing from mo­tor­sport.

At the rear the 4-link axle is con­nected rigidly to the body via a sub­frame with three trans­verse arms and the trail­ing arm, the wheel car­rier and the bear­ings from the proven A 45 4Matic used to en­sure max­i­mum driv­ing sta­bil­ity and agility.

The op­tional Adap­tive Damp­ing Sys­tem of­fers three sus­pen­sion con­trol modes from com­fort­fo­cused to sporty. The sys­tem op­er­ates au­to­mat­i­cally, adapt­ing the damp­ing forces for each wheel ac­cord­ing to the driv­ing sit­u­a­tion and road con­di­tions.

Per­for­mance brak­ing hard­ware has new 4-pis­ton monoblock fixed cal­lipers and 350mm discs fit­ted at the front and the rear axle has sin­gle-pis­ton slid­ing cal­lipers and 330mm discs. The discs are in­ter­nally ven­ti­lated and per­fo­rated to dis­si­pate heat and pre­vent fad­ing and the sil­ver-painted brake cal­lipers have black AMG let­ter­ing.

Speed-sen­si­tive, elec­tro-me­chan­i­cal sports power steer­ing fea­tures a spe­cial rack with vari­able trans­mis­sion ra­tio and two char­ac­ter­is­tic curves de­pend­ing on which drive programme the driver has se­lected.

A pow­er­ful AMG ex­te­rior pack­age in­cludes a ra­di­a­tor grille with twin lou­vres, AMG Line front apron with “flics” on the air in­takes, a front split­ter and sil­ver chrome trims on the lou­vres in the outer air in­takes as dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures at the front.

A twin-spoke 18-inch light-al­loy wheel de­sign is stan­dard and the rear view is dom­i­nated by the rear apron with a new dif­fuser insert, the spoiler lip on the roof and the two round tailpipes.

The in­te­rior of the A 35 4Matic fea­tures Ar­tico man­made leather seat trim with Di­nam­ica mi­crofi­bre in black, red con­trast­ing stitch­ing and red belts or Ar­tico leather in black/dig­i­tal grey. Red pip­ing on the mi­crofi­bre Di­nam­ica trim el­e­ment and ven­ti­la­tion noz­zles with a red ring add fur­ther ac­cents.

The new MBUX (Mercedes-benz User Ex­pe­ri­ence) mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem with its in­no­va­tive op­er­at­ing and dis­play con­cept is stan­dard in the new A 35 4Matic, re­plac­ing the pre­vi­ous Co­mand sys­tems. It cre­ates an even closer con­nec­tion be­tween the ve­hi­cle, driver and pas­sen­gers with two dis­plays un­der one shared glass cover which blend into a Widescreen Cock­pit.

The A 35 4Matic also comes with voice con­trol, ac­ti­vated with the words “Hey Mercedes”. Thanks to ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, MBUX recog­nises and un­der­stands nearly all sen­tences from the fields of in­fo­tain­ment and ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tion, even if they are ex­pressed in­di­rectly.

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