There is a thing such as a hyper hatch. We live in a world where a humble hatchback can spit out 310kW of power (in mass production trim), in a package that will give many supercars a headache while lapping a race track. Of course, that power and performance comes at a price: the fastest hyper hatch today is Mercedes-AMG’s A45 S, which would be close on R1.5mil if it were to be made available locally.
Yet, we have ‘mild’ hot hatches with a rather less blunt 225kW of power, 5 doors, a large boot and enough road manners to handle the morning commute to schools, traffic and work. That’s the Mercedes-AMG’s lesser A35 model, yet selling for a very cool R1mil.
When contemplating this situation, the most outlandish aspect isn’t that hyper hatches exist, but rather that mainstream manufacturers have found an audience willing to part with R1mil for their latest, shiniest automotive trinket.
Why would someone, with R1mil not look to the classifieds for a much more purposeful pre-owned vehicle to really make their neighbours point and whisper as they drive past on the way out of the estate? For the same money (or thereabouts), is R1mil for an A35 the best way to spend it on a vehicle?
We’ve admittedly not driven this – let’s face it, very attractive – machine, but we have sipped the rewards of depreciation to enjoy what the preowned market has to offer.
The A35 AMG isn’t a very special hot hatch. It does have 225kW of power of which is no real news in this day and age, nor does it have some fancy gearbox, or ground-effects aero trickery to make it faster around a race track. This is, for all intents and purposes, a tarted up A250 Sport. It isn’t that different, either.
In a sea of hatchbacks this one might turn one or two heads and score nods of appreciation, but were it not for the badging on the rear it could easily be mistaken for a dressed up A180 CDI…
What else would R1mil buy on the used car market to offer more bang for your bucks? Fortunately, this isn’t a new car review website.
2009 Audi R8 4.2 FSI Quattro (Manual)
For the same (!!) money, this 2009 Audi R8 4.2 FSI Quattro with 6-speed manual gearbox can be on your driveway. With 309kW under foot, this is a baby Lamborghini Huracan for smart money. This particular unit has choice upgrades: extended long range fuel tank; Bang & Olufsen sound system; LED Lighting Package; aluminium trim inserts; 19″ 5-spoke lightweight alloy rims; and, upgraded Audi Hill Start Assist. Plus, that very sonorous V8 howl.
2018 Jaguar F-Type R 5.0 V8 Coupe AWD
This is a head-turner. With exquisite detailing, 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds, and 410kW of power, this is a LOT of performance for R899,900. It is equipped with the multifunction active rear spoiler; Medidian Surround Sound System; 7″ display; SatNav; carbon fibre interior detailing.
2015 Porsche Cayman GTS PDK (981)
In the ‘right’ colour with the ‘right’ specifications, this is a dream drive. It is equipped with a Fabspeed Exhaust System with carbon fibre tips; beautiful 20″ alloy wheels; Black Alcantara and Leather Seats; PDC front and rear; Sport Chrono Package; and, Adaptive Suspension for R100,000 less than the price of an A35 AMG…
2012 Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 Quattro R-Tronic
The much-respected and admired V10. This R8, only R50,000 more than the asking price of the A35 AMG, makes for an incredible sports car. It has 386kW on tap for a top speed of 316km/h; a carbon fibre rear spoiler; electrically-adjustable seats and carbon fibre interior detailing. With the R-Tronic gearbox, this is a must-see.
2014 Nissan GT-R Black Edition
The reputation of the Nissan GT-R precedes it. The Godzilla of supercars presents eye-watering performance at relatively affordable levels, beating the likes of Audi, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren for pace, power and price. This 2014 Black edition Facelift is equipped with SatNav; a reverse camera; Bose Sound System; Comfort Access; ECU Software; and an uprated exhaust system thanks to BB Nissan.
Is your R1mil well-spent on a new Mercedes-AMG A35 hot hatchback to sate your appetite for speed, performance and prestige? After highlighting five examples of better investments, we would suggest you scroll through the used car pages first.