Mercedes will transform the next-generation Mercedes A-class into a high-quality, sporty rival for the Audi A3 and BMW 1-series when it goes on sale late next year.
Previewed at today's Shanghai show as the Concept A study, the new A-class is tipped to capture much of the show car’s flowing sheetmetal, distinctive detailing and sporty stance.
The main difference compared with the concept is that the roofline and glasshouse are understood to be taller and deeper on the production car.
Under the skin, the new A-class is understood to feature an all-new platform, known as the MFA, with strut front suspension and a multi-link rear axle, all dedicated to Mercedes.
Emphasis has also been placed on interior quality, with the new A-class featuring plastics, trim and switchgear borrowed from the C-class.
The Concept A gives a strong feeling of a flowing instrument panel moulding, with a sporty steering wheel, dominant twin-dial instrument binnacle and a rotary controller for the infomatics system.