The new Mercedes-Benz A-class has been spotted undisguised ahead of its Geneva motor show launch. The new model was spotted during a promotional shoot in Lanzarote and posted on YouTube.
Mercedes is turning the new A-class into a high-quality, sporty mainstream rival for the new BMW 1-series and Audi A3 models, leaving the new B-class to fill the role of the small MPV.
The Mercedes MFA platform that underpins the A-class will also be used for the new B-class, swoopy CLC sports saloon and Shooting Brake models, GLC off-roader and selected Nissan models as part of the Daimler-Renault-Nissan alliance. The new structure replaces the previous model’s ‘sandwich’ platform, which boasted a flat floor.
A so-called M270 range of petrol engines at launch will be virtually all-new 1.6-litre turbocharged units, one making 121bhp and 147lb ft, and the other 154bhp and 184lb ft, with maximum torque in both available from just 1250rpm. The engines feature Mercedes’ third-gen direct-injection system and stop-start. These engines will soon be fitted to C-class and E-class models too.
The OM651 family of turbodiesels at launch will have a capacity of 1.8 litres. It will initially come in 107bhp/189lb ft and 134bhp/221lb ft states of tune.
Alongside the standard six-speed manual gearbox, a light, compact seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox will be offered. Mercedes claims that this delivers nine per cent better economy than the CVT gearbox it replaces.