Matt was thoroughly enamoured with Mercedes-AMG’s new A45 S when he drove it late last month, concluding that it was a “vast improvement on what came before and a better driver's car than the RS3 saloon. By a considerable margin.” He was far less smitten with the manufacturer’s A35 following a UK test back in January, however: “It feels nothing more (or less) than its halfway house positioning would suggest” he lamented. Well fret no more, Matt, because it’s the lesser of the two models to which Brabus has turned its attention, bringing it far closer to its faster sibling than ever before.
Thanks to new ECU mapping and increased boost pressure, the tuner’s new PowerXtra B35 kit brings the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine’s output up to 365hp and 339lb ft of torque. Not only is that a very healthy increase on the standard A35’s 306hp and 295lb ft, but it’s only just shy of the A45’s 387hp and 350lb ft.
But wait, there’s more! Just as the A45 S offers greater performance again (421hp and 369lb ft) so Brabus offers its PowerXtra+ package. This can’t quite reach those heady heights, but instead adds an optimised exhaust system to result in a B35 S with 370hp and 359lb ft. In this guise the Brabus is capable of hitting 62mph in just 4.4 seconds, a three-tenth improvement over the A35 and just two-tenths off the A45 - although still half a second slower than an A45 S.
A new two-piece splitter and unique rear wing add a little extra aggression to the B35’s exterior, while Brabus’ monoblock wheels are also available. Inside, standard additions are limited to aluminium paddles and a branded backlit door sill, but options up to and including complete Alcantara reupholstering are available.
There are no prices as yet, but we’d imagine that somewhere in the middle of the £6k gap between the A35’s £35,580 entry price and the £41,800 of the A45 will be a good place to begin. We’ll have more details, including a specific price, following the car’s official debut at the Frankfurt show in a few week’s time.
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