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by Brett Davis

Mercedes-Benz will unveil an all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Concept at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show and the New York International Auto Show towards the end of this month. The concept is said to form the basis for future Mercedes-Benz A-Class models.

Judging by this concept, it appears future A-Class models might leave behind that traditional van-like body proportion and bring in a welcoming new compact hatch design. The new concept also features plenty of current Mercedes-Benz design language elements, including the large, pronounced front grille and snout section, and the long bonnet and low roofline also seen on the F800 and CLS Shooting Brake concepts.

The concept and the production 2012 A-Class model will reportedly feature a sandwich type platform which has been developed to accommodate multiple drivetrain set-ups. Likely powertrains include conventional petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines, hybrids and even full-electric types, all sending power to the front wheels.

Underneath the bonnet of the concept is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder, M270 BlueEfficiency engine unit that produces 155kW of power. It also uses a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox which sends power to the front wheels.

Standout features on the A-Class Concept include daytime fibre-optic running lights, LED headlights, radar-guided collision-warning cruise control with adaptive brake assist, and an integrated smartphone set-up inside with 3D app compatibility.

The production 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is expected to go on sale sometime around the beginning of next year. In the meantime, the A-Class Concept will be exhibited at Auto Shanghai 2011 (from April 19 until April 28), and the New York International Auto Show (from April 21 until May 1).




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