Mercedes A-Class revealed at motor show
The wraps have just come off Mercedes' big crowd puller for the 2012 Geneva Show, the new Mercedes A-Class. Completely reinvented, it's a major new car for the German giant.
What is it?
The all-new A-Class is a big deal for Merc. It's out with the geriatric mini-MPV stance and in with the premium hatchback silhouette. With a lower, more rakish and dynamic look, it's designed to woo young, aspirational buyers away from the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series defaults. It's grown a bonnet, too.
The chaps from AMG are going to get their hands on it. That means an A-Class with a turbocharged four-pot and enough bang to go Audi RS3-worrying - expect north of 320bhp. On the inside, advanced iPhone interfaces and quality more befitting of the three-pointed star should drum-up showroom interest too.
The 'sandwich' chassis that lent the A-Class its tall stance and allowed drivetrain components to slide under the floor in a crash has been binned - aside from capsizing around elks in pre-ESP guise, it was too expensive. Instead, it sits on Merc's new MFA platform that also underpins the new B-Class.
How much and when?
Exact pricing hasn't been revealed, although expect it to be a fair bit more than the £16k it costs to get buyers of the current car onto the Mercedes ladder. Codenamed W176, the new A-Class goes on sale later this year.
Anything else I should know?
Housed under the new A-Class's snout are similar engines to the recently launched B-Class. So, two 1.8-litre diesels and a 1.6-litre turbocharged four, in 114bhp or 154bhp tune are likely to precede the ballsier AMG variant, which is touted for launch at the Paris motor show in autumn.
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