The Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon has been seen testing in public, offering a clear sighting of its three-box design before it goes on sale this August.
The pre-production model seen (video below) shows toned-down styling compared with the dramatic concept revealed at the Shanghai motor show earlier this year, but the A-Class-derived aesthetic cues are visible, including a more aggressive headlight design.
The next CLA, which is due on sale in 2019, will be a sleeker-looking model that'll sit alongside the A-Class Saloon as the sportier of the two in terms of design and handling.
A Mercedes spokesman told Autocar that the models will share a similar relationship to the E-Class and CLS in that they'll appeal to different buyers despite their similarities.
A 48V plug-in hybrid model is planned for the A-Class Saloon line-up, with a 1.4-litre petrol engine, a nine-speed automatic gearbox and an electric-only range of 31 miles.
There will also be a hot Mercedes-AMG A45 variant to rival the Audi RS3 Saloon. The rest of the engines will be shared across the A-Class range.
These will be optimised for the new generation to give better fuel economy and lower emissions than the current models. Most prominent of these will likely be 1.4-litre and 1.2-litre variants of Mercedes and Renault’s M282 four-cylinder petrol engine, although the 1.2 is yet to be confirmed.
Additionally, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre M260 petrol engines are set to feature. All of the diesels will be 2.0-litre, four-cylinder units.
Inside, the A-Class Saloon is expected to be almost identical to the A-Class hatchback and, as is evident from the images, will feature Mercedes’ full-width digital dashboard and infotainment display.
Also to be included on the new A-Class will be S-Class-derived driver assistance systems that will allow the car to steer and brake autonomously up to certain speeds.