Bigger Mercedes A-Class hatch set to spawn eight models, including saloon and EV models. Exclusive images and spy shots.
More spy shots have emerged of Mercedes’ all-new A-Class being tested in Germany.
The spy shots of a four-door variant leave little to the imagination, with the usual camouflage stripped away to reveal a red paint scheme with a black disguise covering parts of the car in order to hide key details. The new photos reveal a longer A-Class in comparison to the current model. Both the headlights and taillights have been given a sleek LED makeover and the exhausts appear to have been enlarged, too.
Mercedes has plans to expand the A-Class line-up to include up to eight models. The fourth-generation hatchback is likely to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 21 years after the original A-Class was launched at the same show.
The arrival of the saloon then gives Mercedes freedom to develop the CLA four-door coupe into a more design-focused car. This is due to arrive in 2019, Auto Express understands. As with the current car, this will be complemented by a CLA Shooting Brake.
Mercedes-AMG will offer two performance variants of the new A-Class. AMG boss Tobias Moers has talked openly about the upcoming AMG A 45, which will develop in excess of 400bhp from a newly developed 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo.
While the full-fat A 45 will rival the likes of the Audi RS 3, Moers also sees an opportunity to produce a lower-powered AMG model that would provide Mercedes with a rival to cars such as the Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3. It’s likely a detuned version of the 2.0-litre turbo from the A 45, developing around 300bhp, will be used in this entry-level AMG.
Once the A-Class hatch, saloon and CLA have launched, Mercedes will then turn its attention to the next-generation GLA crossover. It will share its platform with the new A-Class, but like the current model, it will be differentiated from the rest of the line-up with SUV styling cues and a raised ride height. It’s not expected until the end of 2019 at the earliest.
All variants of the A-Class will share engine and gearbox combinations. Diesel models will continue to make up a huge proportion of A-Class sales, with a new 2.0-litre diesel replacing the current 2.1-litre unit. Power will range from 148bhp to 194bhp, while various versions of the 1.6 and 2.0-litre turbo petrol engines will also be offered. A plug-in hybrid version of the A-Class hatch, branded under Merc’s new EQ Power division, is also in the pipeline.
The final piece of the A-Class puzzle will be the all-electric Mercedes EQ A hatch. It’s just over two years away, but the EQA Concept that previewed the model at the Frankfurt Motor Show will morph into a more practical five-door for production. A minimum all-electric range of 250 miles has also been promised.