2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class spy shots

A new generation of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is brewing and we have the first spy shots.

The prototype was spotted at a Mercedes technical center in Germany and reveals many of the details of the upcoming compact hatchback, the nameplate’s fourth generation.

The proportions match those of the current model but we can see the wheelbase is longer—evidenced by the stretched rear doors—which should result in some much-needed space in the cabin.

New platform, new interior, more tech

Speaking of the cabin, though heavily disguised it appears Mercedes designers are integrating the central screen with the dash instead of attaching it as in the current model.

Another change is the side mirror positioning. The side mirrors are now mounted on the doors instead of higher up at the base of the A-pillars, which should result in improved visibility. And those strange markings at the top of the windshield are likely sensors for various safety and autonomous driving features.

The new A-Class is expected to be the first model to ride on the next-generation version of the current MFA (Modular Front-drive Architecture) platform used in compact cars from Mercedes and Infiniti. Referred to as MFA2, the next-generation platform will bring weight savings plus greater capacity for alternative drivetrains. A stretched version of this platform will underpin the next B-Class, CLA and even a new SUV rumored to be called the GLB.

Mercedes-AMG variant planned

In the powertrain department, expect 4-cylinder engines and dual-clutch transmissions to feature prominently. High-performance models from Mercedes-AMG are also planned.

As the current A-Class made its debut in 2012, in Mercedes tradition we should see this new one sometime in 2018.

Unfortunately, we don’t expect to see the new A-Class in the United States due to low demand for hatchbacks in the luxury segment. There have been rumors that the new A-Class may spawn a sedan but such a model, which would boast more interior space than the CLA, is likely to be sold in China only.

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