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by Tim Beissmann

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be very similar to the Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class revealed at last week’s New York International Auto Show, according to the German manufacturer’s chief designer.

Mercedes-Benz design director, Gorden Wagener, told UK publication Autocar the New York concept was a “realistic” preview of the production model, with the sharp roofline, large interior display screen and prominent air vents all confirmed for the showroom.

Mr Wagener admitted the grille, headlights and window line would be softened and rear doors added for the production model.

He vowed that interior quality would take a significant step forward, offering better fit and finish than the current C-Class.

It is understood the all-new A-Class will also be able to download applications like a mobile phone to keep its infotainment programs up-to-date.

Mercedes-Benz has already revealed that every engine in the 2012 A-Class range will feature turbocharging and start-stop technology. A manual transmission will be standard while a new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox will be optional. No traditional automatic transmission will be offered.

An AMG variant will also be offered in the new A-Class range, most likely with a high-performance turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Mercedes is still to make a final decision on whether the A-Class AMG will feature an all-wheel drive platform or stick with the standard front-drive set-up.

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is expected to go on sale globally from next year.




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