Mercedes-AMG is presenting a completely new entry-level model in the world of driving performance. It is based on the new Mercedes front-wheel drive platform and is powered by a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with output of 225 kW (306 hp). Body shell, suspension, all-wheel drive, transmission, driving programs, fine tuning – every detail has been designed for maximum driving dynamics without compromising on everyday comfort. The performance at sports car level (acceleration 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds) and the specific design also strengthen the identity as a member of the performance family. A true AMG for the Hot Hatch stage!
The new A 35 4MATIC expands the AMG model portfolio as an attractive entry-level model in every respect. Because the development of the A 35 4MATIC was integrated into the development process of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class right from the start, it was developed at the same time as the future A 45 4MATIC, making it was possible to inject the AMG DNA into every relevant detail. The result can certainly be experienced by the driver in the form of authentic driving performance.
Specific measures to strengthen the front section of the bodyshell form the basis for the precise turn-in ability and the toe and camber stability of the chassis components, even when driving at speed. A so-called “shear panel”, a bolted aluminium plate under the engine, increases the torsional stiffness of the front section. Two additional diagonal braces at the front of the underbody also reduce torsion and increase the stiffness.
The 2.0-litre turbo engine is a new development and is based on the M 260 four-cylinder engine in the new A-Class. The new drive boasts a spontaneous response to accelerator pedal commands, high tractive power (400 Nm max. torque from 3,000 rpm), a supremely lively response and an emotional engine sound. The crankcase made of high-strength, lightweight die-cast aluminium reduces the vehicle weight where it matters most for driving dynamics
A twin-scroll turbocharger is used for turbocharging. It combines optimum responsiveness at low engine speeds with a strong power increase at higher speeds. The housing of the twin-scroll turbocharger is divided into two parallel ducts. 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 cylinders are divided into two cylinder groups and each is directed onto a turbine flow of the twin-scroll turbine. The cylinder groups are defined based on the ignition sequence.
This results in a further advantage of twin-scroll technology, i.e. minimisation of the mutually adverse effects of the individual cylinders on the gas cycle. The exhaust gas back pressure is reduced and gas exchange and engine efficiency are improved.
The high technological standards of the new four-cylinder engine are also underscored by numerous efficiency-enhancing measures. These include CAMTRONIC variable valve control, intelligent thermal management for engine and oil, high-precision piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition. In production, the patented CONICSHAPE® cylinder honing reduces internal engine friction and also increases efficiency.
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission also contributes to the agile and dynamic character of the new A 35 4MATIC. The gear ratios have been configured so that the driver experiences very spontaneous acceleration in all speed ranges, combined with fast shifting and optimum connections when shifting up.
The standard RACE-START function allows maximum acceleration from stationary and is a highly emotional experience. The functions of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G transmission are rounded off with a temporary M mode activated by operating the steering wheel shift paddles in any driving mode, and with the manual transmission mode “M” for manual gear shifting with the shift paddles.
Dynamism, agility and performance – these three attributes characterise the standard all-wheel drive of the new AMG A 35 4MATIC. The variable AMG Performance 4MATIC combines the best possible traction with lots of driving fun. The torque distribution is infinitely variable to suit the dynamic handling requirements. The spectrum ranges from front-wheel drive only to a 50:50 percent distribution to the front and rear axles.
A multi-disc clutch that is integrated in the rear axle transmission is responsible for the variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles. It is controlled electro-mechanically. The influencing factors for torque distribution are not only the driving speed, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration and the steering angle, but also the difference in rotational speed between the individual wheels, the gear selected and the accelerator position.
The main advantages of electro-mechanical control over an electro-hydraulic system relate to sharper driving dynamics – primarily due to the significantly faster response and speed-independent actuation of the discs over the entire adjustment range.
As long as ESP® is activated, the 4MATIC system stays in “Comfort” mode. As soon as the driver presses the “ESP® SPORT Handling” or “ESP® OFF” button, the 4MATIC system switches to “Sport” mode – for even more agile handling and even higher stability limits.
The five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving programs “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 program is optimised for slippery road conditions, with reduced power and a flat torque curve. Smooth gear changes, earlier upshifts and the ECO start/stop system support the stability-focused driving impression.
The “Comfort” program stands for comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, for example thanks to very early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up with an emphasis on comfort, the ECO start/stop system is active.
“Sport” and “Sport+” place the focus on agility and driving pleasure with sporty engine and transmission tuning. The sound of the turbocharged engine becomes more distinctive. The ECO start/stop system is inactive. “Sport+” is particularly emotional with double-declutching during downshifts and partial cylinder cut-off via a brief and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection at full load.
The “Individual” driving program enables the individual parameters to be selected and saved according to personal preferences. In addition, the gliding function is available in the “Reduced” and “Moderate” drive settings.
As a new feature in the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving programs, the new A 35 4MATIC comes with AMG DYNAMICS. This integrated dynamic handling control system extends the stabilising functions of ESP® with agilising interventions according to the driver’s wishes. During dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the rear inside wheel creates a defined yawing moment about the vertical axis. The effect: the A 35 4MATIC steers spontaneously and very precisely.
The different manifestations of AMG DYNAMICS are called “Basic” and “Advanced”. The drive program selection indicated on the multimedia display shows the new AMG DYNAMICS symbol with the relevant additional term.
“Basic” is assigned to the “Slippery” and “Comfort” drive programs. Here the A 35 4MATIC demonstrates exceptionally stable handling characteristics with high yaw damping.
“Advanced” is activated in the programs “Sport” and “Sport+”. The A 35 4MATIC remains neutrally balanced. The lower yaw damping, lower steering angle requirement and enhanced agility support dynamic manoeuvres such as driving on winding country roads.
In the “Individual” drive program the driver can set the AMG DYNAMICS levels individually.
The AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension layout is based on the dimensional concept of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class with good straight-line stability and highly dynamic cornering behaviour. The longitudinal and transverse dynamics are perfectly coordinated.
A McPherson suspension strut construction is fitted on the front axle. Suspension is taken care of by one wishbone below the wheel centre, one spring strut and one tie rod respectively. The special axle geometry reduces the influence of the drive on the steering – for high comfort and agile handling. The new wishbone in aluminium reduces the unsprung masses enabling a more sensitive response from the springs. The AMG-specific front steering knuckle has a radially bolted brake calliper – a technology originating from motorsport.
The 4-link rear axle is connected rigidly with the body via a subframe. Three transverse arms and the trailing arm, the wheel carrier and the bearings from the proven A 45 4MATIC are used on each rear wheel. This ensures maximum driving stability and agility.
The optional Adaptive Damping System enables the driver to choose between three different suspension control modes. The spectrum ranges from comfort-focused to sporty. The system operates fully automatically, adapting the damping forces for each wheel according to the driving situation and road conditions. This happens within milliseconds and is infinitely variable, with a wide spread of damping characteristics. The result is that ride comfort and agility are enhanced in equal measure.
The high-performance braking system ensures fade-resistant deceleration and short braking distances. Its dimensions correspond to the well-proven A 45 4MATIC model. The front axle is fitted with new 4-piston Monoblock fixed callipers and 350 millimetre brake discs, the rear axle with 1-piston sliding callipers and 330 millimetre brake discs. The discs are internally ventilated and perforated to better dissipate heat and prevent brake fading, even with extreme use. The silver-painted brake callipers have black AMG lettering.
The speed-sensitive, electro-mechanical sports power steering supports a sporty driving style with its direct turn-in ability. It has a special rack with variable transmission ratio and two characteristic curves: depending on which drive program the driver has selected, it provides taut and sporty or more comfortable steering feedback. The rigid mounting in the integral carrier connects the steering even better with the body and thus increases steering precision.
The exhaust system features an automatically controlled exhaust flap as standard. Depending on the drive program selected the sound is modulated from balanced to powerful.
The powerful exterior design adds characteristic AMG elements to the design idiom of the A-Class. The radiator grille with twin louvres, the 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 are distinguishing features at the front.In the side view, the aerodynamically optimised 18-inch light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design and the side sill panels of the AMG Line catch the eye. The rear view is dominated by the rear apron with a new diffuser insert, the spoiler lip on the roof and the two round tailpipe trims.
The interior of the A 35 4MATIC follows the entry performance logic of Mercedes-AMG with seat covers in ARTICO man-made leather with DINAMICA microfibre in black, red contrasting stitching and red belts or ARTICO man-made leather in black/digital grey. Red piping on the microfibre DINAMICA trim element and ventilation nozzles with a red ring add further accents.
The combination of sporty design and sophisticated details is also featured in the MBUX multimedia system with its innovative operating and display concept. In the new A 35 4MATIC too MBUX replaces the previous COMAND systems and creates an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers. Emotionally appealing presentations underline the clear control structure and feature brilliant maximum-resolution 3D graphics. Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasise the horizontal orientation of the interior design.
The customer can choose between three AMG display styles for the instrument cluster. The Supersport mode is particularly striking with a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right of the rev counter: with a three-dimensional perspective, they reach far into the background to an artificial horizon. Via the AMG menu, the driver can call up various special displays such as Warm-up, Set-up, G-Force and Engine Data.
The touchscreen multimedia display also emphasises the dynamic character with individual AMG displays such as visualisation of the driving programs, AMG TRACK PACE and telemetry data. The AMG-specific centre console in piano lacquer finish with standard touchpad has additional buttons that control the functions ESP®, manual transmission mode and Adaptive Damping System. In conjunction with the optional leather package, it features a silver chrome surround.
And needless to say, the A 35 4MATIC also comes with trailblazing 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.
The new generation of AMG steering wheels continues to provide the perfect link between the driver and the vehicle. The steering wheel rim with a flattened lower section, perforated leather in the grip area and red contrasting topstitching is both attractive and pleasant to the touch. The galvanised steering wheel gearshift paddles allow an even sportier driving style with manual gear shifting.
The built-in Touch Control buttons are a new feature. They can be used to intuitively select the displays of the instrument cluster and the multimedia system by means of horizontal and vertical swiping and to position them according to individual preferences. The active distance assistant DISTRONIC and the TEMPOMAT cruise control can be adjusted on the control panels on the left. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the multimedia system.
As an option the steering wheel can be equipped with extra innovative features. These consist of a round controller with an integrated display beneath the right-hand steering-wheel spoke, plus two vertically positioned colour display buttons with switches beneath the left-hand steering-wheel spoke. The AMG drive programs can be actuated directly via the controller. The selected drive program is shown on the colour LCD display directly integrated in the controller.
With the two freely configurable display buttons and the additional switches, further AMG functions can be controlled within easy reach, directly on the steering wheel. This means that the driver can concentrate fully on dynamic driving without having to take his hands off the wheel. Each function required can be depicted on the other LCD display, and its switch is tapped by the driver to set the respective function. The driver’s two preferred AMG functions can be defined in this way and the settings changed with just one tap of the finger.
AMG TRACK PACE is also available as an option for the new A 35 4MATIC. The virtual race engineer is part of the MBUX multimedia system and permanently records more than 80 vehicle-specific data (e.g. speed, acceleration) while driving on a race track. On top of this lap and sector times are displayed, as well as the respective difference for a reference time. Because specific display elements are shown in green or red, the driver is able to see at a glance without reading numbers whether he/she is currently faster or slower than the best time.
After putting in some fast laps, the driver can use the data to analyse and, if necessary, improve his/her driving skills. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-100 km/h, ¼ mile, 100-0 km/h) can be measured and saved. Thanks to a newly developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, AMG TRACK PACE even detects when the circuit has been left or it has been shortened. This is done using GPS data as well as the sensors available in the vehicle (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speeds).
The data are displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the optional head-up display. Well-known race tracks like, for example, the Nürburgring or Spa Francorchamps, are already saved. Furthermore, it is also possible to record your own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and updated online.
The MBUX Augmented Reality function also allows the ideal line of a stored race track to be displayed on the multimedia display or optional head-up display, allowing the driver to improve lap times with a virtual instructor on board.
The new Mercedes-AMG A 35 4MATIC will celebrate its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show on 2 October 2018, sales will start in October 2018, and market launch will kick off in January 2019 in Western Europe.