The A-Class has already been seen in hatchback and China-only long-wheelbase saloon form. The global saloon version, designed to rival the Audi A3 saloon and upcoming BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé, will make its public debut at the Paris motor show in October.
It slots into Mercedes' line-up beneath the C-Class saloon to become the German car maker’s most affordable four-door model, in a move that mirrors the 1982 launch of the original 190, which sat beneath the E-Class and was subsequently rebadged as the C-Class.
Mercedes has confirmed that the A-Class saloon will be offered with just two engines when it goes on sale, although further units are planned once production is ramped up.
The launch options are a turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 161bhp and 184lb ft (badged A200) and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel with 114bhp and 192lb ft (badged A180d).
Both come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, although, as with the hatchback, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic 'box with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles is an option.
When mated to the latter, the petrol engine is claimed to return combined fuel economy of 54.3mpg and average CO2 emissions of 119g/km, while the diesel records 70.6mpg and 107g/km.
Together with standard front-wheel-drive versions of the A-Class saloon, Mercedes also plans to offer a limited number of four-wheel-drive 4Matic variants, including A35 4Matic and A45 4Matic models from its AMG performance division.