Mercedes-Benz has debuted the new A-class sedan for the Indian market at the ongoing Auto Expo. Interestingly, the German automaker has decided to showcase its entry-level sedan offering in its sporty AMG A35 guise, which gets mildly reworked styling as well as a potent powertrain under the hood.
Following Mercedes' latest design language, the A-class sedan wears a large front grille with the prominent 'three-pointed star' taking centre stage. Sharply-cut LED headlamps with integrated DRLs and a sculpted bumper complete the front fascia. The luxury sedan mirrors the A-class hatchback's design till the B-pillar, beyond which it features longer rear doors and a roofline that smoothly flows into the boot lid. Large swept-back tail lights and a well-shaped rear bumper add to the appeal. Special AMG treatment includes a tweaked front grille and bumpers, sportier alloy wheels, an aggressive rear diffuser, and circular dual-tip exhaust pipes.
The cabin is new-age Mercedes too. The horizontally laid-out dashboard features circular, turbine-style air vents and a dual-screen setup for the digital instrument cluster and touchscreen infotainment system. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX, operating system also allows the digital screens to be operated via either the new multi-function steering wheel or a touchpad in the central console. On the A35, the instrument cluster can be customised with a 'Supersport' mode that adds AMG-specific data like g-force readings and track telemetry. Additionally, the hotter sedan also gets AMG sports seats in the front.
Providing firepower to the A35 is a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine tuned to produce 306hp and 400Nm of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), clubbed with a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, allow the new AMG to complete a sprint from 0-100kph in a scant 4.8sec.
The standard-spec A-class is globally available in a wide variety of petrol (136-224hp) and diesel (116-190hp) engines, though the 163hp A200 and 116hp A180d are the likely candidates for our market.
The A-class sedan is underpinned by the new-gen MFA front-wheel drive platform (dubbed MFA-II), similar to other compact models in the brand's stable. Though available in a long wheelbase guise too in markets like China, the India-spec A-class will come in the standard 2,729mm wheelbase. Additionally, to distinguish it from the A-class hatch, Mercedes has decided to christen the sedan 'A-class Limousine' for the Indian market.
When it launches later this year, the standard A-class Limousine is expected to carry a sticker price of around Rs 32-40 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom), with the AMG A35 positioned much higher. As such, it will rival the likes of the Audi A3 and the upcoming BMW 2-series Gran Coupe in the entry-level luxury sedan segment.