With enthusiasts awaiting the return of the Mercedes-AMG A45 hatchback, it's a little refreshing to see the performance arm of the German brand unveiling a sedan version of their A35 4MATIC hatch. It's a more practical proposition and would be far more appealing in markets such as ours where boot space is valued over compact exterior dimensions. The overall wheelbase of the car is similar, as is the width and height, with the only difference being the overall length.
The powertrain is also identical to the hatchback variant, being a turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder engine that pushes a good 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Power is channelled through a the seven-speed AMG Speedshift DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission to all four wheels, courtesy of the 4MATIC system. It takes just 4.8 seconds to hit 100 km/h from a standstill, which is mighty quick in comparison to the all-wheel drive hot hatches of today.
Optional packages come in the form of the AMG Aerodynamics Package that adds little aerodynamic bits like a larger spoiler lip and lateral spoilers as well as a larger diffuser, as well as a Night Package that changes a lot of design elements to black pieces for a more aggressive look. What this in turn means is that the A35 4MATIC sedan comes generously equipped, quite nearly identically to its hatchback sister.
The chassis of the A35 4MATIC sedan is stronger compared to its non-AMG counterparts, as you would expect. This keeps toe and camber values more consistent when really throwing it around - something often overlooked when you consider how much chassis flex even well-built cars are undergoing during hard cornering. There are underbody braces as well to increase overall torsional rigidity.
AMG Ride Control comes as standard, which is essentially an adjustable damping system that allows for three different levels of stiffness. It's par for the course for luxury cars, and definitely lends a level of flexibility to the A35 4MATIC sedan that makes it more usable in a larger variety of situations. The steering rack is also variable in nature and response depending on what mod you've selected, giving you a quicker steering ratio as and when you need it.
Round all of it off with the AMG Track Pace data logging system, and you have a car that's functional both on track and off. The A35 4MATIC sedan is poised to be a car that will happily do the school run on the daily, but allow you to find the limits of grip at a sunny track day. The real question is whether you should get this milder variant, or wait for the A45 models to wow the world with some expectedly insane power figures.