Mercedes-AMG A35 due early next year

The emblem of German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, is pictured covered with raindrops at a parking lot in Hanau (Reuters picture)

This all-new model will sit in the Mercedes-AMG lineup below the next-generation A45, which will make it the new entry level model with prices expected to start at around €39,500, according to a report in Autocar.

That engine will be a heavily reworked version of the A45’s M260 turbo-four, which itself is an evolution of the M270 engine in the recently launched all-new A-Class. The cylinder bore and stroke of the engine will remain the same as that of the standard A-Class, but different pistons and bespoke software will be utilized to deliver the kind of performance the Golf R currently boasts from its 306 bhp unit.

With cars like this the 0-62 mph time is all-important, and the new A45 is expected to get below the four-second mark. Obviously the entry-level A35 will have to be a little slower, but its predicted 4.5-second time will still put it right alongside its Volkswagen rival — which is already as quick as some genuine sports cars like the Porsche 718 Cayman S.

Visually there won’t be a huge amount to separate the A35 from the more expensive A45, although one telltale sign will be the quad exhaust of the A45 as the A35 appears to be making do with a set of twin tailpipes.

The two hot A-Class models will both be offered with adjustable damping, but the A35 could have less aggressive rebound rates to differentiate it from its more costly sibling that will be better in bends and corners as well as on the straights.

Mercedes hasn’t officially announced the A35 just yet, but late last year AMG boss Tobias Moers confirmed it would “arrive ahead of the A45.” A full reveal at the Paris Motor Show in October is likely, with order books opening at the start of next year and deliveries getting underway by mid-2019.