The new W177 Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be revealed soon – as soon as the Detroit Auto Show this month, in fact – and that means there’s plenty of hype surrounding the new premium hatchback. These include the upcoming AMG models, and the mid-range version, the Mercedes-AMG A 35, has just been spotted by our spy photographers.

Despite the basic-looking wheels, it’s clear that this is one very serious machine, with bulging front air intakes, a lower ride height and a set of massive front brakes. There’s also a sizeable rear diffuser with integrated twin tailpipes, likely to distance itself from the more hardcore A 45.

Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers has already confirmed the existence of the A 35, saying that he sees “huge opportunity” for the “A 45’s little brother.” Set to take on the Audi S3, Volkswagen Golf R and Honda Civic Type R, it will be the cheapest AMG model to date, with Moers adding, “The price point will be low, and not everything we can do with the 45 we can afford for the 35.”

Expect the A 35 to contain the same basic ingredients as the A 45 – a 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder engine and a 4Matic all-wheel drive system. However, while the more powerful model is expected to break past the 400 hp barrier in the next generation, this car should be dialled back to somewhere in the region of 340 hp.