We already have a pretty good idea as to what the new Mercedes-Benz A Class will look like thanks to the inadvertent sighting of an undisguised version during an official photo shoot in the Canary Islands.
And Mercedes-Benz has also given us a preview of the new car’s interior, revealing earlier this week that it will come with full Apple iPhone and Siri compatibility.
Now, just one week out from the car’s debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, a final prototype has been spotted doing some last minute testing in the cold conditions of Northern Europe.
The A Class prototype you see here has a fairly conventional five-door hatchback design but with a sloping front-end and Mercedes’ stretched arch design for the cabin. A sportier three-door variant similar to last year’s A Class Concept is planned, and there have been reports that a convertible version may also be launched further down the track.Under the new sheet metal is the same front-wheel-drive platform code-named MFA (Mercedes Frontwheel Architecture), which debuted in the B Class late last year. It drops the sandwich construction of the outgoing A Class for a more conventional car-like design.
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.
A high-performance AMG version with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine spitting out close to 320 horsepower is also in the works. 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.