Although it's tough to see too many styling details on this vehicle, we're expecting a gentle evolution of the current car's styling.
Unlike the third-generation car, the new A-Class looks to have thinner headlights, flagpole-style wing mirrors, and LED tail-light units that stretch into the tailgate.
While the exterior is likely to be far from earth shattering, the interior may be closer to that mark, with this prototype sporting a high-resolution dual-screen setup for the instrumentation and infotainment systems.
Under the skin, the new A-Class hatch will debut the MFA2 platform for front- and all-wheel drive cars. With its large front overhang, this will be a traditional transverse engine layout, not the more radical sandwich platform used for the first two generations.
The A-Class and other MFA2 vehicles are expected to be lighter than today's counterparts. Motivation is expected to come from a selection of turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. A plug-in hybrid will likely debut down the line.
In time the MFA2 platform will use be underneath the next-generation CLA 'four-door coupe', GLA soft-roader, and B-Class. There are also rumours about a new GLB crossover, and an A-Class sedan, although the latter may be a China-only special.
It's thought that the new A-Class hatch will make its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September this year. Australian sales aren't likely to begin until 2018.