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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - A-class

Benz to add A35 and A45 AMG, two-door ruled out

Electric feel: Mercedes-AMG will fill void between A250 Sport and A45 AMG with a new electric turbo A35 AMG for $65K.

New entry-level performance Mercedes-AMG A-Class models here by mid-2019

Mercedes-Benz logo6 Feb 2018

By DANIEL DeGASPERI in AMSTERDAM

MERCEDES-BENZ will bolster its new-generation A-Class range with A35 AMG and A45 AMG performance flagships, however a two-door coupe has been ruled out of the car-maker’s planned eight-bodystyle compact car family expansion.

The performance division of Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG, has devised a plan to fill the current circa-$25,000 void between the outgoing $55,000 A250 Sport and its $80,000 A45 AMG with an A35 AMG expected to cost around $65,000.

While the fourth-generation A-Class revealed at the weekend in Amsterdam still utilises a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine in the newest A250, the A35 AMG is tipped to add a 48-volt electrical system and electric turbocharger to that engine when it is revealed at the Paris motor show in October.

With the new A250 now claiming 165kW/350Nm and a 6.2s 0-100km/h time, the battery-boosted A35 AMG should see outputs push to around 250kW/450Nm for a sub-5.0s 0-100km/h claim.

Such outputs place the A35 AMG into contention with what will be its arch rival, the 250kW/500Nm BMW M140i that locally sells at $59,900 plus on-road costs.

The A35 will utilise an AMG tune of Mercedes-Benz’s newest, faster-acting all-wheel drive system dubbed 4Matic, which will also be installed underneath the next A45 AMG all but confirmed to follow six months later, by early-to-mid 2019.

According to GoAuto sources the development of an A35 AMG was spurred by a loftier push for the next A45 AMG, which will move the current model’s 280kW to beyond 300kW of power, with a 0-100km/h claim falling under 4.0 seconds.

A corresponding price increase to around $85,000 will also be expected for the pumped-up petrol-only turbocharged four-cylinder, leaving the A250 at around $55,000 and the A35 AMG somewhere in between.

However, while Mercedes-AMG will take on the likes of the Audi S3 and BMW M140i with its new-generation A-Class, buyers should not expect an Affalterbach compact coupe (or convertible) rival to BMW’s acclaimed M2.

Mercedes-Benz has announced that eight bodystyles will be spun off its new second-generation modular front-wheel drive architecture (MFA-2), with the A-Class hatchback the first to arrive, and replacements for four other bodystyles – the B-Class, CLA sedan and Shooting Brake, and GLA – also locked in.

That leaves another three new bodystyles to join the Mercedes-Benz compact car family, one of which will be the A-Class sedan devised specifically for Chinese and US markets, particularly when the A-Class hatch is not sold in the latter.

While the other is all but confirmed to be the GLB, a swoopy, coupe-style version of the GLA to rival the likes of the BMW X2, the third variant will not be a coupe according to Daimler AG chief design officer Gorden Wagener.

Speaking with GoAuto at the unveiling of the A-Class in Amsterdam this week, Mr Wagener said that a two-door version of the coupe-style CLA was not on the cards.

4 center imageLeft: Daimler AG chief design officer Gorden Wagener

“I think still we have the biggest amount of dream cars like convertibles, like C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, roadsters and so on, and have the biggest amount of coupes, and so on,” he started.

“A CLA-Class two-door would not be a CLA because the CLA is a four-door coupe.”

As for a convertible, however, he added that a two-door coupe would have to come first anyway, and given it was not in the works, it rules a drop-top out too.

“You need a two door because structure wise you can never do a four-door convertible,” he continued.

“Honestly I (also) don’t think that a convertible of an A-Class would look good, I would not do that.”

Mr Wagener did, however, confirm that the AMG GT-based ‘predator’ grille, shown on the new A-Class and also CLS, would not necessarily be applied to new generations of the CLA and GLA.

“They will have a different face than that,” he revealed.

“So the thinking was the A-Class is our most progressive car, the CLS the same, so that’s why that kind of face is first of all dedicated to these kinds of cars. (But) when you start a new architecture like this, we build all of the variants to make sure all of them work in terms of proportion, in terms of differentiation, so you can bet they will be all good.”

While ensuring the new Mercedes-Benz design language, dubbed Sensual Purity, and its “reductionist” philosophy of removing lines and embellishment carries through to all of the new compact car family, Mr Wagener added that it was also important to “put some emphasis on product character.”“Depending very much on what type of car is it, what’s the message, it’s like a chessboard with different players and different functions,” he said.

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