The last time we heard Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers speak about an entry-level AMG model, he said “we have to have a close look at the competitors and who is going to be our benchmark, then we work out what the task is of the A 35 in setting the new benchmark.” Well, that’s sorted now. According to Car and Driver, the A 35 will compete with the likes of the Audi S3.

Currently, there is quite a considerable gap in the brand’s compact car offering, especially between the A 250 and A 45 – likewise for the CLA and GLA models. The 250 variants get a 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo petrol making 218 hp/350 Nm, while the AMG 45 gets a hand-built 2.0 litre turbo that makes a monstrous 381 hp and 475 Nm of torque. With the imminent introduction of the W177 A-Class, AMG plans to fill that gap with an AMG bearing the “35” badge.

Speaking about the upcoming new A-class sedan, Moers said “there will be a new AMG 45, but in addition to that, we will launch an AMG 35 with around 300 horsepower.” Of course, expect the CLA and GLA to receive the same treatment as well.

As for the range-topping AMG 45, Moers won’t go as far as to reveal details such as horsepower figures, but the all-new engine is expected to push beyond the 400 hp mark and outdo the Audi RS3, the latter featuring a 2.5 litre inline-five turbo that produces 400 hp.

Apparently, the AMG 35 will also get a detuned, hand-built M133 engine (not an uprated M260) that’s based on Affalterbach’s one-man, one-engine philosophy. Expect the new wave of baby AMGs to be revealed late this year or sometime in 2019. What’s your take on this, dear readers? Let us know in the comments below!

GALLERY: W177 Mercedes-Benz A-Class