by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: Photographers ran across a 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class prototype

It was only a week or so ago that we saw the first spy photos showcasing a heavily-camouflaged 2012 A-Class prototype. Recently, spy photographers met the car in Stuttgart, near the Mercedes-Benz R&D Centre. The test car reveals mere clues on the looks of the hatchback, but that's hardly a surprise now after everybody saw a set of leaked patent sketches in May. Designers were in charge to create a crisp and youthful theme for the new model, as this is company's first 5-door vehicle attempt. The boring MPV shape is gone forever now that it was solely reserved for the new B-Class, which, as earlier stated, is indeed more elegant and stylish than in the past.

The new A-Class will closely follow the aesthetic footsteps of the concept car presented in April at Shanghai. That means we'll see the intricately-pampered LED headlights and the arched side windows panel make it onto the serial production model. The dashboard, although different from that of the B-Class, won't feature many of the futuristic materials found on the Concept A-Class, but will preserve some the airplane wing visual effect - mind those aircon vents that look like jet engines, because there's a chance they will be kept for the series car.

Other than that, the underpinnings and the entire technologycal package will be shared with the new B-Class, scheduled for the official reveal at the IAA Frankfurt. So, expect the same level of efficiency and almost the same equipments (depending on the variants). Rumors claim a hardcore, 350-hp version AMG version for the A-Class is also said to be under secret development by the Affalterbach-based tuner and it should hit streets in 2013 if the project gets fully greenlighted.

I expect the new A-Class to be slightly more expensive than its fellow brother - the base price should start at around 23,000-24,000 euros for the most countries in Europe. Mercedes-Benz announced that it will also start selling the car state-side, where it is prone to arrive by early 2013.

Photo source: Motor Authority

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