UPDATE: Mercedes-Benz has now confirmed the new A-Class will not be revealed until early 2018, ruling out a Frankfurt motor show premiere.
The Mercedes-AMG 'A40' hatchback has been spied undergoing hot weather testing in southern Europe.
Compared to the A-Class hatch spied in February in the Arctic, this latest vehicle has a different front bumper treatment. Its headlights are a similar shape to the ones used on the recent Concept A Sedan.
This car also features larger cross-drilled brakes with AMG-branded callipers. Out the back, there's a new rear bumper with visible exhaust tips and cut outs for stylised surrounds.
Aside from the visual changes we can see with this prototype, the spy photographers reported a "deeper sound" emanating from this car.
This vehicle probably isn't a replacement for the A45, as that car won't debut with the rest of the A-Class hatch range.
At the recent New York motor show, Tobias Moers, head of AMG, told CarAdvice the new A45 is "still a little while away".
Moers stated the next-generation A45 will have a new 2.0-litre turbo generating "over 300kW". Should this prove to be true, it would leave space in the new A-Class range for an in-between model, similar to how the AMG C43 sits below the full-fat AMG C63.
Rumour has it the 'A40' will feature a turbocharged engine with around 250kW of power.
By way of comparison, the current A45 boasts a 2.0-litre turbo pumping out 280kW of power and 475Nm of torque.
The new-generation A-Class will not make its global debut until sometime next year, meaning an Australian launch is unlikely to occur before the end of 2018 - possibly even early 2019.
MORE: Everything Mercedes-Benz