The coming couple of years should yield an interesting battle for dominance over the small premium car market as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz will be trying to establish their own new model as the clear winner.
For its entrant, the A-Class, Benz has gone to teasing the car on LinkedIn, with a rather stylishly dressed Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche clearly proud of the successor to one of the brand’s most successful models. The car itself is wearing less camouflage since we last saw it, lending a clearer view at the overall larger car it has grown to become, growing both in overall length, wheelbase, and width along with gaining a more aggressive stance than the W176.
This time around, Mercedes-Benz’s A-Class will be expanded to cater to the desires of even more potential customers, particularly the valuable first-time buyers into the brand. The details of this larger portfolio isn’t clear to the public yet, but will likely include a two-door coupe and convertible in addition to an A-Class hatch, CLA four-door coupe, and an A-Class sedan as previewed by their Concept A design study brought to the recent Shanghai Motor Show.
The three way fight between the next A3, 1 Series, and A-Class, respectively, will be interesting for a number of technical reasons, but potentially the most interesting is the presumed loss of inherent dynamic edge of the new BMW have over the Mercedes-Benz equivalent as the ‘1 moves from a rear-wheel to front-wheel driven layout in its transition into a new architecture.
Mercedes-Benz has clearly wanted to position the A-Class as a sportier, more youthful alternative to the their more established sedans, and pouncing on the BMW will be easier now that their USP is perceived to be at one of its weakest points.
While the powertrain of the new A-Class isn’t expected to undergo much of a drastic shift from where they stand now, emphasis has been placed instead on the car’s interior and technology features where more expensive variants should receive an fully digital instrument cluster, more premium materials, and even autonomous driving capabilities lifted from the flagship S-Class.
The high-performance AMG version of the A-Class, the A45, is reported to have a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that the current generation currently has. Tuned to generate a whopping 298kW (or thereabouts), it will surely give the mega hatch crowd some pause.