Mercedes-Benz's smallest three-box model will arrive with an AMG A45 version to take on the Audi RS3 Saloon

The forthcoming Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon has again been caught on camera testing at the Nürburgring, where engineers are putting the future Audi A3 Saloon model through its paces in the run-up to an anticipated launch this autumn.

Although the pre-production model features visibly toned-down styling compared with the dramatic Concept A Saloon that was revealed 2017 Shanghai motor show, the latest A-Class hatchback's aesthetic cues, including a pair of slimmer headlights and a larger front grille, are visible.

A 48V plug-in hybrid version of the A-Class Saloon is planned, 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-litre unit is yet to be confirmed.

New cars 2018: what's coming soon?

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 will feature Mercedes’ full-width digital dashboard and infotainment display.

Also to be included will be S-Class-derived driver assistance systems that will allow the car to steer and brake autonomously up to certain speeds. 

When the A-Class Saloon is introduced, it will sit alongside the CLA, a new version of which is due out next year. Both cars will offer a three-box shape in similarly-sized packages, but a Mercedes spokesman told Autocar that they'll appeal to different customers. Evidence for this comes with the E-Class and CLS, they said.

The A-Class will be the more practical and spacious offering, largely thanks to its less sleek roofline that holds onto more rear head room. The CLA will therefore have a sportier look, which will be mirrored in its handling.

Additional reporting by Sam Sheehan

Read more: 

2018 Mercedes A-Class caught testing on video in near-production form

Audi RS3 Saloon UK review

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz A-Class review hero front

Can the latest Mercedes A-Class's slick conformity outweigh the old model's originality?

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1 September 2017

I don't think this is a saloon version of the current A-Class, but the first of the next generation. I'm sure the next generation will be an evolution of the current car's platform though. Expect this to show you the new look to those cars

1 September 2017

At least the screen appears to be back "in" the dash and not sitting atop of it! The major blemish on the dash until now! 

23 November 2017

MB chickened out totally from the concept, and its a mess look at the massive overhang in front of  the front wheels - ughhhh

what's life without imagination

17 April 2018

Hilariously hideous overhangs.  Looks like an E Class body rammed on an A Class wheelbase.  

But the CLA already does this as well and is already one of the ugliest cars on the road.

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