by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: The 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class trying some snow and ice in Scandinavia

During spring this year, Mercedes-Benz will introduce the new A-Class which marks a complete shift from the past model. Underpinned by the new Mercedes Frontwheel Architecture (MFA) platform and boasting frugal powerplants and an unbeatable safety and technology package, the compact-sized car is set to attract new and younger customers towards the Stuttgart-based manufacturer. Latest spy shots come from Northern Scandinavia, where Mercedes-Benz tests all the future models under winter conditions.

The dynamic, yet classy silhouette proposed by the Concept A-Class show prototype will somehow make it unaffected onto the series model. Youthful and strong lines are the ones that characterize the spirit of the entire vehicle: the bold headlights with LED Intelligent Light System (as an option) and the angled grille with the big star sitting in the middle are like business cards for the new A-Class.

Inside, there's hardly any difference compared to the B-Class, at least from what we can see at the moment. The cladding on the dashboard prevents inappropriate views from getting a glimpse of the essential details. Although the chief of interior design at Mercedes-Benz suggested the W 176 would no longer feature the three-pointed star on the steering wheel, the image captured in the cabin of the prototype seems to contradict him: the 3-spoke steering wheel is borrowed from its MPV brother, as well as other components. Given the roof line and the general hatchback shape, don't expect too much leg and head room for the rear seats, but we guess two occupants sitting on them could travel quite comfortably. Measuring less than 4.5 meters in length means the luggage space in the trunk is rather restrictive, but the new A-Class is more of a lifestyle-oriented car than a practical one.

The low-end BlueEFFICIENCY units in the Mercedes-Benz engine bank will put the new A-Class into motion. For the beginning, there will be a number of four different versions as in the case of the new B-Class - the A 180 and A 200 with 122 hp and 156 hp; the A 180 CDi and A 200 CDI with 109 hp and 136 hp, respectively. Combined with the new 6-speed manual gearbox or the enhanced 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission, the powerplants score impressive values for CO2 emissions and combined fuel consumption: between 114 and 137 g/km and between 4.4 and 5.9 l/100 km. Rumors say Mercedes-Benz will also release more powerful A-Class versions in the first year after the official premiere: the A 250 and A 250 CDI displaying 204 hp and the high-end A 25 AMG sporting a 4x4 platform and no less than 320 hp.

Credits: Carscoop

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