An Infiniti hatchback based on Mercedes' new A-Class platform is 'most likely to go ahead'

A compact Infiniti hatchback based on Mercedes' new front-drive A-Class platform is 'most likely to go ahead'. Top boss Dieter Zetsche told Autocar that the model was part of the alliance with Nissan, which will also Merc engines built in the Japanese car-maker's factory in the US.

Although they will share their underpinnings, the A-Class and Infiniti will have their own styling and identity. Speaking at the Geneva motor show, Zetsche said: "Obviously they will have very different bodies".

He also opened-up the possibility of a three-door A-Class, but after the five planned body variants had been launched.

"We did not plan a three-door because the other variants look to have a better business case and profitability. But that does not exclude the possibility of a three-door for the future," he said.

However, Mercedes has ruled out an alloy-bodied luxury saloon employing the body technology developed for the new SL sportscar.

Zetsche told Autocar that the SL's alloy body tech was 'scalable' to different-sized cars. But he said Mercedes was more likely to use the tech to develop lightweight body panels, like doors, roofs and boot and bonnet skins for its luxury saloons.

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'This is not a general step in that direction [alloy] for a saloon,' he said.

Julian Rendell

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