The Mercedes-AMG A 45 is a desirable little pocket rocket, but prices have inched steadily upwards since its local launch in 2013. The car used to be available for under RM350,000, but the latest W177 A 45 S model now retails closer to the RM450,000 mark.

In a move to pacify buyers that would probably be upset by this move, Affalterbach has introduced a more affordable mid-range model, the A 35. Available as both a sedan and a hatchback, it is priced at RM336,278 for the sedan and RM366,785 for the Edition 1 hatch as you see here, and it is the latter that we’ve taken for a spin in our latest video review.

Unlike the A 45, the A 35 doesn’t get a bespoke AMG engine – its 2.0 litre M260 turbocharged four-cylinder is instead shared with the lowly A 250. But it is no less serious, with outputs of 306 PS and 400 Nm of torque, a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system and a seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. It blitzes the zero-to-100 km/h sprint in just 4.7 seconds, despite being less powerful than the original A 45.

Harnessing the extra power are the larger brakes and an uprated chassis with AMG Ride Control adaptive dampers. Aesthetically, the A 35 is differentiated from standard AMG Line models through a dual-bar grille and a large rear diffuser with twin round exhaust tips. Inside, you’ll find a redesigned centre console with dedicated buttons for the drivetrain and suspension, including a manual mode.

The Edition 1 model throws in the Aerodynamic Package with a sizeable front splitter, front flics, a massive rear wing and a more ornate rear diffuser, along with Denim Blue paint and Tech Gold 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels and side stripes. The interior is dressed with an Edition-badged AMG Performance steering wheel and AMG Performance seats upholstered in Artico faux leather and Dinamica microfibre.

But for enthusiasts, the most pertinent question is this – is the A 35 a proper cut-price alternative to the A 45, or is it too much of a fettled A 250 to justify the price tag? You’ll just have to watch the review above to find out. As usual, you can let us know what you think in the comments after the jump.