It's a sound to warm the hearts of hot-hatch fans everywhere; the new Mercedes-AMG A35 rumbling into life before firing off into the distance at the Nürburgring.
What is thought to be Merc's new baby hot hatch was spotted pounding out laps of the infamous German racetrack ahead of an anticipated launch in 2019, and it's every bit the tyre-squealing, exhaust-booming party you might expect.
AMG boss Tobias Moers confirmed a new A35 variant would sit beneath an updated A45 AMG (a 300kW monster due next year) at the LA Auto Show in 2017. And it seems the new and cheapest AMG is edging closer to a formal unveiling, if these flying laps at the 'Ring are anything to go by.
International reports suggest 220kW will be on tap, about on-par with the 228kW of the Volkswagen Golf R.
One caveat, though; it's worth remembering that "cheap" is a relative term, and given the circa-$75k asking price of the A45, it's unlikely the A35 will be a true cut-price alternative. We'd expect it to land somewhere between that lofty number and the $55,590 sticker price of the Golf R.
"We’re going to start with an entry performance, a 35," Moers said at the time. “It was really a logical step to do. So far, we don't have an offering in that segment. It’s a really competitive segment, and it's going to be a challenge for us, but we’re going to face that challenge."
International reports suggest a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine will produce around 220kW, about on-par with the 228kW (only 213kW in Australia) of the Volkswagen Golf R. And Moers has promised that, despite forming the entry point to the AMG family, the A35 will have brand's full performance-car magic weaved through it.
“It’s still a part of AMG. I strictly believe in product, and they have to be aligned in our brand approach,” he said. “And this counts for an A35 as well. It's very, very important, otherwise you're going to dilute the brand. Just putting a badge on the trunk would be easily done, and maybe it works quite well for a year or two, but then you're just going to dilute the brand and we’re never going to do that.
“So even for an A35 there is a lot of effort. We run the whole chassis program as we do for a performance car, so everything is the same. “
The full details are yet to be revealed, but expect to see the Mercedes-AMG A35 sometime next year.
Would you take an AMG A35 or a Golf R? Tell us in the comments below.