Design-wise, the 2012 Mercedes A-Class design follows closely the Concept A-Class first shown at the New York Auto show last year. Exterior-wise, the upper and lower front grilles and headlights closely match the concept, with the Mercedes A-Class rear least changed from the automaker’s more traditional designs. A five-door hatchback version will join the original Mercedes Benz A-Class three-door hatchback.
Engines choices for the European model include a 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder gasoline engines and 2.2-liter diesel engine. All three come standard with six-speed manual transmission or available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Stop/start functionality (which turns off the engine at a stop to improve fuel economy) is standard on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is front-wheel drive. Mercedes tuner arm AMG has been intimately involved in the design of the A-Class from the get go and offers its own model, the A-Class Sport “engineered by AMG” to the lineup. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sport offers sports-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, unique front grille and rear aprons, and interior coloring and stitching.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is, as expected, chock full of safety systems including standard Attention Assist (which senses if the driver is getting sleepy); Brake Hold (which lock the brakes while stopped on a hill) and Hill-start Assist, which allows the car to move forward on a hill without rolling back. The automaker has also made standard Brake Assist, which help drivers minimize damage in the case of a rear-end collision, and will also make available the Pre-Safe safety system, first introduced on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class flagship in 2002. Finally, Mercedes is introducing its “Digital DriveStyle App” for the Apple iPhone on the 2012 A-Class at the show.
Mercedes has not yet released details on the U.S. model of the A-Class, which is scheduled to debut as a 2013 model.