Newly visible on this prototype are the shape of the headlights and the grille, while the lower air intake in the front bumper is wider and looks closer to production-ready compared to the last time the A-Class was spotted.
At the rear, the A-Class's tail-lights are more visible, along with the trapezoidal tailpipes protruding from the rear bumper.
It appears the A-Class will feature styling inspired by the wagon versions of the C-Class and E-Class, though it will remain similar in size to the model currently on sale. As the recent A-Class sedan concept showed, the new range will also debut a slender new head- and tail-light design.
The new car is said to ride on an updated version of the company's MFA platform, dubbed 'MFA2', which reduces weight and allows for the implementation of alternative drivetrains - so we can expect plug-in hybrid and full-electric versions of the new premium hatchback.
It's also believed the new A-Class will feature a longer wheelbase to give better accommodation for rear passengers, and a larger boot to make it more practical. For reference, the current model offers 341L of luggage capacity.
Reports speculate the new A-Class will be available in both five-door hatchback and four-door sedan body styles - previewed by the A-Class sedan concept in Shanghai last month - with the latter being more practical than the style-focused CLA coupe and aimed primarily at the Chinese market.
Powertrains are expected to include three- and four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines depending on market, along with two high-performance AMG variants.
The new-generation A-Class is likely to introduce an 'entry-level' AMG A40 - similar in positioning to the AMG 43 versions of larger models - to slot under the flagship AMG A45, with the latter expected to develop more than 300kW from its 2.0-litre turbo four.
Inside, the A-Class will feature a tech-laden cockpit, with previous spy images showing the smallest Benz will get the dual-screen layout for the driver and infotainment displays like the E-Class and S-Class sedans.
Expect a global reveal around the time of the Frankfurt motor show in September, then market launches rolling out in 2018.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates over the coming months.
Click the photos tab for more images