Mercedes-Benz in February unveiled a new A-Class hatchback, the first of eight members planned for the automaker's new generation of compact cars.
Some of those eight members will have high-performance variants developed by Mercedes-AMG. And this time around there will be direct replacements for the current crop of 45 series cars from AMG, plus a new crop of slightly tamer 35 series cars.
We now have spy shots of a prototype for what's likely to be the A35 hatchback from AMG. Previously thought to be the hotter A45, we now know this is the A35 because of the round exhaust tips fitted to the car. Range-topping AMG models get square-shaped exhaust tips.
The grille on the car, with its vertical slats, resembles the unit destined for the A45. However, you can count on the A35 to come with a single-bar grille, similar to what's used on other lower-tier AMG models like the C43 and CLS53.
Under the hood will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with approximately 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, with drive going to all four wheels. Interestingly, there are reports the car will come with an electric compressor to build up boost pressure at low revs.
A similar setup is destined for the A45 but peak power in this model is likely to be 400 hp or higher.
Look for the A35 hatchback to debut later this year. While we won't see it in the United States, its mechanical package should end up in an A35 version of the U.S.-bound A-Class sedan.