Mercedes A-Class: 'A' is for 'Attack'

The Mercedes-Benz presence at the Geneva Motor Show will be spearheaded by the new A-Class. The Golf-sized hatch may be an unlikely standard-bearer for the three-pointed star, but it is a crucial part of a new Mercedes marketing direction.

Emphasis on that size comparison: The new A-class is specifically intended to steal sales away from the Audi A3 and the upper realms of the VW Golf line. Moving away from the supersized-smart fortwo look of the current A-Class, the new car adopts the more traditional two-box arrangement that has been shown in "concept" format before. The detailing has been toned down, but the sheet metal still features character lines that almost betray a Mazda influence.

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Power will come from a newly-developed range of turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinder motors burning either gasoline or diesel. The usual gamut of Mercedes safety and convenience options will be available. 4matic all-wheel-drive is a likely option.

Although previous hatchback lines from premium builders — including the Mercedes C230 — have not met with significant success in America, we expect to see the A-Class (and perhaps the B) give it another shot this autumn.

Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz