Fri. Oct 18th, 2019

Cars Tune Up

Auto Show International

306 hp/400 Nm, 0-100 km/h in 4.8 secs, RM349k

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306 hp/400 Nm, 0-100 km/h in 4.8 secs, RM349k

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Seven months after Mercedes-Benz Malaysia launched the A-Class Sedan, the company has brought in the go-faster version to our shores – the V177 Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Sedan. While it doesn’t quite possess the bonkers numbers of the full-fat A 45 and A 45 S, this mid-range performance model from Affalterbach should still get hearts racing, with some seriously potent hardware under the skin.

But first, we’ll get to the most important bit, the price. The fully-imported A 35 retails at RM348,888 on-the-road without insurance – some RM81,000 more than the most expensive variant of the standard A-Class Sedan, the A 250. Included in the price is a four-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

That might seem like a steep premium, but there’s been a lot of fettling here. Yes, the M260 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine remains, but it’s been lightly breathed on to produce an impressive 306 hp at 5,800 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm. It’s paired to a seven-speed AMG Speedshift 7G dual clutch transmission with gear ratios tuned to improve acceleration at all speeds.

All that power and torque gets sent through the variable AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive system, which can send up to 50% of torque to the rear wheels through an electro-mechanical multi-plate clutch. With the Race-Start launch control system, the A 35 sedan will sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds.

To handle the extra power, the body-in-white has been strengthened with a new shearing plate at the front of the car. This aluminium panel underneath the engine, together with additional diagonal bracing, increases torsional rigidity for more precise turn-in and greater toe and camber stability even at speed.

Suspension continues to be provided by MacPherson struts at the front – with unique axle geometry and lightweight aluminium control arms – and a four-link setup at the rear that uses components from the outgoing A 45. Local models also get adaptive dampers as part of the AMG Ride Control suspension, along with speed-sensitive electro-mechanical sports steering and AMG Dynamics torque vectoring by braking.

To go with the increased performance, the A 35 gets the full AMG Line styling package, complete with the aggressive front air intakes and deeper side skirts. The twin-louvre grille and gloss black shrouds on the corners of the bumper set the A 35 apart from lesser models, while the rear gets a bootlid lip spoiler and an entirely different diffuser insert with twin circular exhaust pipes.

As standard, we get 19-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels, hiding larger cross-drilled brake discs that measure 350 mm at the front and 330 mm at the rear. They are clamped by four-piston monoblock callipers at the front, radially bolted onto the AMG-specific steering knuckles, as well as single-piston rear callipers. No AMG Aerodynamics Package offered over here, however.

The interior retains the A-Class’ party tricks, including the giant flatscreen display panel with twin 10.25-inch screens, Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system and the “Hey Mercedes” Linguatronic voice control. And of course, the sedan gets a separate boot that measures 420 litres.

Features specific to the A 35 include unique displays for the instrument cluster as well as an AMG Performance steering wheel upholstered in Nappa leather and Dinamica microfibre, although we don’t get the optional AMG Performance seats – those appears to be reserved for the A 45.

Otherwise, standard equipment is vast and includes Multibeam LED headlights with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, power-adjustable front sports seats with memory, Artico faux leather and Dinamica upholstery, designo red seat belts, black-striped aluminium trim, 64-colour ambient lighting and a tyre repair kit.

You also get extended MBUX functionality, wireless charging, a head-up display and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Safety-wise, the A 35 gets Active Brake Assist (autonomous emergency braking), Active Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Pre-Safe, a tyre pressure monitoring system and Active Park Assist with front and rear sensors and a reverse camera.

The A 35 is also the first model in Malaysia to receive Mercedes me connect services, a series of internet-enabled features that will be rolled out to other future models. Find full specifications of the A 35 4Matic Sedan on CarBase.my

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