The hot hatch segment has always been, err… hotly contested. Pick your price point and there is a performance model to suit you from any number of manufacturers. Audi and VW had the entry-level all-wheel segment sewn up with its S3 and Golf R, respectively. Now there is a new contender in the shape of the Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic.

Check out this five-way hot hatch drag race. 

An entry point

The Mercedes-AMG A35 is an entry point for new buyers to the AMG brand. The new A-class recently made its debut and Mercedes has not yet released the tar-burning A45. A35 marks a middle ground between the quickest of the front-wheel-drive models and the halo all-wheel drive monsters with oodles of firepower.

Bespoke looks

One can immediately place the Mercedes-AMG A35 as a performance model as it has characteristic AMG elements. A twin louvre front grille, a front splitter and chrome trim on the louvres all mark this as an AMG. In profile one can easily spot the 18-inch alloys and hunkered down stance. The tail features a diffuser, a spoiler on the roof and twin round tailpipes.

New engine

Mercedes has developed a new turbocharged, inline four-cylinder motor, dubbed M260 for the newest A-class. Max power is rated at 225 kW coupled with peak torque of 400 N.m from 3 000-4 000 r/min. Twin-scroll turbocharging ensures minimal lag and good tractability from the force-fed four. No news yet on the A45’s power output but some are speculating that it’ll offer over 300 kW.

As the name indicates, the Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic drives all four wheels. Torque distribution is variable and ranges from front-wheel drive only to a 50:50 split. Drive is transferred via an AMG Speedshift DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission. To maximise acceleration off the line there is a Race Start launch control programme. Mercedes claims a 0-100 km/h time of 4,7 seconds. Top speed is an electronically limited 250 km/h.

The powertrain features five driving modes: slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual. Each mode tailors the engine and transmission responses accordingly.

Tuned suspension

Like its siblings the Mercedes-AMG A35 rides on MacPherson struts up front and a 4-link set-up. The hardware is mated with an Adaptive Damping System. This allows a driver to choose between three different suspension control modes. Interestingly the dampers adapt individually for each wheel.

350 mm brake discs are clamped by 4-piston calipers on the front wheels. Single piston calipers act on 330 mm items at the rear. All discs are internally ventilated and perforated.

The Mercedes-AMG A35 makes its public debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.

Get the full breakdown of the Mercedes-AMG A35 by clicking here