Mercedes A-Class in full production soon

MERCEDES has revealed that an AMG model with over 300hp will sit below the AMG A45, called the A35.

It’ll bridge the gap between the standard A-Class and the high-performance A45, which is due in 2019 and will have more than 400hp.

Thus, Mercedes will introduce a lower-powered model to slot in between it and the rest of the A-Class range.

With competition including the BMW M140i and Audi S3, expect the A35 to offer around 340hp. Initial images released seem to confirm that Mercedes will introduce a hybrid model into the range.

It’s expected to offer an electric range of 31 miles thanks to a 122hp 1.5-litre petrol engine and an 80hp electric motor.

Expect it to be available from the launch of the new A-Class in mid-2018.The released images show an interior that looks far more luxurious than the one in the current A-Class.

The design is similar to that of larger Mercedes models such as the E-Class. The flowing forms seemingly wrap around the driver’s seat and even entry-level cars get two digital displays on the dashboard, arranged side-by-side –one replacing the analogue dials and one for the infotainment system.

They come in three levels, with screen sizes increasing from seven to 10.25-inches. Mercedes says there’s more passenger space in the back of the new A-Class too, with more head, leg and shoulder room.

The boot opening of the older car was annoyingly narrow, and that has been resolved in the new A-Class by using different rear lights.

Boot space is up 29 litres on the old car and now sits at 370 litres –10 more than a BMW 1 Series and 10 less than an Audi A3.

Mercedes’ smallest model will offer largely the same engine choices as the outgoing car – there’ll be four-cylinder 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines and a 1.5-litre diesel.

Although the engines are the same, they’ll produce more power and better fuel economy. A 2.0-litre diesel engine is also expected, and you’ll be able to choose from either a seven-speed dual-clutch auto or a six-speed manual gearbox.

The addition of plug-in hybrid and electric versions will be almost inevitable in the next couple of years.

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