Just when it seems like the German horsepower wars have gone up a notch - see the 680hp C63 - so AMG, BMW M and Audi RS suddenly seem content with the status quo. You’d have assumed facelift time for both the A35 and A45 would be the perfect opportunity for AMG to put some air between the flagship A-Classes and rivals like the Golf R, Audi RS3 and BMW M135i, but no. These new models produce exactly the same 306hp/295lb ft (A35) and 421hp/369lb ft (A45) as they have since launch.
For the A35 at least, that’s despite the fitment of a belt-driven starter generator, making the model a mild hybrid (a trait it shares with the rest of the updated A-Class range). AMG reckons it’s worth 10kW (13hp) at start up, yet rates overall power as the same. Driving through the Speedshift eight-speed auto, the AMG A35 hits 62mph in 4.7 seconds and 155mph. For the A35 saloon (yes, it’s still being made, can’t have everyone in a four-door S3), another tenth is added to the 0-62mph time.
The significant changes for both models are most covered off in styling and equipment. The new lights, grille and badges aim to move the ’35 and ’45 ‘closer to the AMG family’, and there’s a fresh look for the wheels, spoiler, and rear lights. Inside, an AMG Performance steering wheel is now standard, which might sound a bit gimmicky but does mean the key driving functions - ESP and AMG Dynamics - can be accessed without taking your hands off the wheel.
Elsewhere, the latest generation of MBUX infotainment is standard fit, with more USB charging power, new screen displays and, from Q1 next year, even fingerprint recognition for profile authorisation. In an A-Class! A trendy sage grey colour - their words, not ours - is now available for the seat, too, but there’ll be no changing that back via fingerprint…
Probably the most significant addition to the new lineup is the introduction of an AMG Street Style Edition. Yes, you read that right. Only available for the A45 and for a limited time only, the AMG SSE is in mountain grey magno with fluorescent orange accents. Naturally, the wheels are black (but the calipers are red, rather than orange) and the Aerodynamics Package is standard fit. Inside the Street Style there’s more orange, with aluminium trim in the same pattern as the exterior accents.
There’s no word yet on the UK availability for the Street Style Edition, though surely a few will make it here given our fondness for matt grey paint and AMG hot hatches. No word on prices yet either, but expect the rest of the revised A35/A45 range to be on sale before the end of the year.
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