Mercedes doesn’t like to miss out on a gap in the market – just look at its four-door and SUV ‘coupés’, for example – yet until now, the German manufacturer didn’t have an entry-level hot hatch on its books, just the bonkers A45 mega-hatch.
This is where the Mercedes-AMG A35 comes in. Conceived to offer greater performance than the front-wheel-drive A250, but at a price that sees it pitched well below the scorching A45, Mercedes hopes this still pretty toasty hatchback will hit the sweet spot for buyers both dynamically and financially.
Under its bonnet lies the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine as used by the A250 – albeit revised to produce 302bhp and 295lb ft of torque. And with drive channelled through a heavily revised version of the 4Matic four-wheel drive system used by the first-generation A45, Mercedes clearly isn’t messing around.
That power output and a price tag of well over £30,000 put it head to head with some serious contenders, including the Audi S3, Volkswagen Golf R and BMW M140i. But is the A35 better than those, or indeed the mighty Honda Civic Type R? Read on to find out, and don’t forget, you could save thousands on your next motor with our New Car Buying service.