Mercedes-Benz is working on the next generation of its compact range, with a redesigned A-Class hatchback the first model due.
The hatch will make its debut in early 2018 and be followed shortly by a new A-Class sedan, a prototype for which has just been spied.
Mercedes already has the CLA, but the automaker sees room for a second, more practical sedan in its compact range. Think of it as a roomier but less sporty alternative to the CLA, a bit like the relationship between the E-Class and CLS today.
Mercedes-Benz A Sedan concept, 2017 Shanghai auto showEnlarge Photo
A direct preview came in the form of the A Sedan concept unveiled at April’s 2017 Shanghai auto show, albeit in AMG trim. Our spy shots show a prototype for the regular A-Class sedan, and so far it looks like the car is shaping up to be virtually indistinguishable from the concept.
Mercedes dealers in the United States have reportedly been shown the final design. The car is expected on sale in the fall of 2018, as a 2019 model, and to be positioned below the CLA which lists from about $33k. Sadly, the A-Class hatchback is not due here.
Production is tipped to take place at the new plant in Mexico where Mercedes will produce compact cars alongside models from Infiniti. Other production locations are likely to include plants in China and Hungary.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
Underpinning the car will be an updated version of the MFA (Modular Front-drive Architecture) platform used by Mercedes for its current compacts. Referred to as MFA2, the updated platform will bring weight savings plus the capacity for alternative drivetrains.
Potential rivals include the Acura ILX, Audi A3 and Mercedes’ own CLA. BMW has also launched a 1-Series sedan, though this is exclusive to the Chinese market. Cadillac is also working on a compact sedan to be dubbed the CT4.
The success of Mercedes’ latest-generation compacts, of which more than two million have been sold since the first arrived in 2012, has prompted Mercedes to add three more compacts. In addition to this A-Class sedan, we can also look forward to a rugged, G-Class-inspired SUV, plus an electric offering to be dubbed the EQ A.