Curvy new AClas

O Scale model proves Mercedes is ditching MPV look for small family car O Stylish newcomer is ready to target VW Golf

ALL IN THE DETAIL^

Side creases mark out distinctive new shape. Buyers will get choke of three or five doors ^

Tom aate_

OUR spy photographer gets an 'A' for effort with this amazing scoop! Meet the all-new Mercedes A-Class, caught in l:4-scale design model form ahead of Its official unveiling later this year.

As we revealed in Issue 1,123, the A-Class is dumping its MPV-style shape for a more conventional hatchback - and here's the proof. Aimed at a wider market with sales targets including the VW Golf, the model is clearly inspired by Mercedes'

BlueZero F-Cell concept (the full-size green-gold car hidden by a cover In our picture above).

The clay model shows that the concept's radical LED headlights have been toned down for the new car, codenamed W176. But the two striking creases have remained: the upper one, which runs from the top of the front wheelarch, references the new CLS. And the longer line, which rises from the sills to the tail-lights, adds Interesting shadows, to make the A-Class look more dynamic. Base engines will come from the firm's new tie-up with Renault, which will supply 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrols and a 1.6 diesel. Mercedes' own units make up the rest of the four-cylinder line-up, with the 1.8-litre direct-injection petrol and 2.1-litre oil-burner.

An AMG version is also in the pipeline, using a 270bhp unit. All A-Classes will have a seven-speed twin-dutch gearbox as standard.

Three and five-doorvariants will come first, with a small SUV which will take on the BMW XI

ALL IN THE DETAIL^

Side creases mark out distinctive new shape. Buyers will get choke of three or five doors ^

on the horizon, too. UK A-Class models will be front-wheel drive, with the AMatic four-wheel-drive set-up being offered elsewhere.

The newcomer is designed to appeal to younger buyers. It will be cheaper to build than before, as the current model's complex sandwich floor is being ditched for a more conventional platform

A new B-Class will sit on the same underpinnings, although it will be aimed at buyers of the Ford C-MAX, and offered with five or seven-seater layouts.

Mercedes' Golf spied

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