Late last month Mercedes-Benz launched a new campaign in Europe asking people to look out for camouflaged prototypes of its new A Class hatchback in order to win several prizes, including a trip to car’s official world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March.
We bet they weren’t expecting someone to spot a totally undisguised version, though that’s exactly what has happened.
A group of cyclists on the Spanish island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands just so happened to pass a film crew preparing to photograph the new A Class, and in the process managed to capture this short clip of the car sitting idly in the sun. They then uploaded the video to YouTube, which was subsequently picked up by the guys at Autoblog.nl.
We’re glad to report that Mercedes design direct Gordon Wagener wasn’t lying when he said the production A Class would closely resemble the Concept A Class unveiled last year at the Shanghai Auto Show. The production version keeps the concept’s marked character lines and clamshell hood, though the headlights seem slightly oversized and appear bigger than the already-large units on the recently revealed 2013 SL Class.
Note, this is a five-door model. A sportier three-door version with similar proportions to the Concept A-Class is expected, as is a high-performance AMG version with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine spitting out close to 320 horsepower. As for the standard lineup, expect a selection of turbocharged engines, both gasoline and diesel, as well as the choice of either conventional manual transmissions or seven-speed dual-clutch automatics. The base engine should be a 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 122 horsepower.
While Europe will get to see the new A Class in showrooms by the end of the year, Americans will have to wait until early next year or later still. This is because Mercedes plans to launch the ‘BLS’ four-door coupe initially in the U.S., with its other compacts like the new A Class and possible BLK crossover coming later.
Stay tuned for the third-generation A Class’ official debut in just a few weeks but in the meantime click here for our dedicated Geneva Motor Show page.