The Mercedes-Benz A-Class saloon has been spotted testing on public roads, confirming the brand’s plan to put the car into production.
The pre-production model seen testing 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.
A 48V plug-in hybrid model is planned for the line-up, with an electric-only range of 31 miles, 1.4-litre petrol engine and nine-speed automatic gearbox, in addition to an A45-badged hot saloon to rival the Audi RS3 saloon. The rest of the engines will be shared across the A-Class range, which will sit in an eight-strong small-car line-up, including a new GLB SUV.
These will be optimised for the new generation to give better fuel economy and emissions than present; 1.4-litre and 1.2-litre variants of Mercedes and Renault’s M282 four-cylinder petrol engine will be the most prominent of these, although the 1.2 has yet to be confirmed by Mercedes. 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 and, as is evident from the images, will feature Mercedes’ full-width digital dashboard and infotainment display, which has trickled down from the S-Class and has worked its way down the Mercedes range into the upcoming A-Class.
Also to be carried over from its hatch sibling will be S-Class-derived driver assistance systems, which will allow the car to steer and brake itself up to certain speeds.