Mercedes is readying itself for the launch of the facelifted A-Class. The company’s updated premium hatchback will go on sale next year sporting a range of cosmetic and technology changes that will keep the car competitive with the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.
Exterior changes will be minimal, with updates being limited to the camouflaged portions at the front and rear of this prototype. So, up front, we’re expecting a new bumper and some redesigned headlamps. However, the radiator grille appears to be unchanged, sharing the same single-bar design.
At the rear, there’ll be a reshaped diffuser, new exhaust outlets and some redesigned tail lights to match the fresh lighting at the front end. An updated colour palette and a choice of new alloy wheel designs will round off the updates.
Inside, changes will also be minimal. This prototype appears to share the same dual-screen infotainment system as the current A-Class, although we expect Mercedes will load the system with some updated software to keep the screens looking fresh.
The steering wheel also appears to be the same three-spoke unit found in the old car, rather than the two-spoke unit found in Mercedes’s latest models. However, there should be a few new trim pieces for the cabin and some new upholstery finishes to choose from.
Development of an updated AMG A 45 hot hatchback is also underway. We haven’t seen any prototypes for the new model just yet but, judging by the tweaks Mercedes has made to this standard variant, we’re not expecting any huge differences on the styling front.
It’ll retain the same “Panamericana” radiator grille as the current model, along with the muscular bonnet bulges and quad-exit exhaust system, while adopting the same sort of lighting and bumper tweaks shown on our spied standard A-Class prototypes.
The current AMG A 45 S is the most powerful hot hatchback on sale, with its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine chucking out a massive 415bhp, and the facelifted variant could pull further ahead of the competition with another bump in power.
Mercedes hasn’t yet confirmed any technical details for the new car’s powertrain, but it’s all but certain to retain the same eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and 4MATIC four-wheel drive system found in the outgoing model.
The standard A-Class will continue with the current car’s range of petrol and diesel engines, albeit with a few efficiency tweaks. The range will kick-off with a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol unit, available with either 134bhp or 161bhp.
Above that, there’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 221bhp and a plug-in hybrid variant that mixes the 1.3-litre petrol with a 100bhp electric motor and a 10.6kWh battery pack for a maximum output of 215bhp and claimed fuel economy figure of up to 282.5mpg.
Despite the stigma surrounding the fuel, Mercedes should also continue to offer the updated A-Class with diesel power. There’ll be a choice of two options, both based around the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, offering buyers either 114bhp or 148bhp.