New look, infotainment system and engines also debut

The fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been unveiled at an event in Amsterdam.

Compared to the outgoing car, the new model has a more aggressive design, dubbed 'Sensual Purity' by Mercedes-Benz, and borrows the narrow and slightly angry headlight design from the latest CLS.

Thanks to a flat underbody design, the A-Class has a coefficient of drag between 0.26 on entry-level models and 0.315 on higher-spec variants. That's down from a range of between 0.26 and 0.34 on the outgoing car.

The fourth-generation A-Class rides on a wheelbase that's been stretched 30mm to 2729mm, and a 13mm wider front track. The hatch now measures 4419mm long, 1796mm wide, and 1440mm tall. That's an increase of 127mm in length, 16mm in width, and 7mm in height.

Naturally, passenger comfort is said to be improved, while boot space is up 29 litres to 370L. There's also a wider tailgate to access the cargo area thanks to the vehicle's two-piece tail-light design.

Inside, the new hatch features a radically redesigned interior and a new infotainment system dubbed MBUX. The interior was revealed late last year, and MBUX received its debut at this year's CES in Las Vegas.

Depending on the model, the MBUX system features with either two 7.0-inch displays, two 12.5-inch displays or one of each. A natural language voice recognition system triggered by the key phrase "Hey Mercedes" is also available.

The central screen can be controlled via a haptic touchpad on the centre tunnel, the centrally-mounted touchscreen, or controls on the right-hand side of the steering wheel. The screen directly ahead of the driver is accessed exclusively via controls on the left-hand side of the steering wheel.

A stack more safety kit has been fitted to the new A-Class, and the car can drive itself semi-autonomously in certain situations if specced up with the active lane changing assistant and the active distance-maintenance cruise control system, which is able to slow down when approaching corners, roundabouts and junctions.

Active Brake Assist is standard throughout the range, and the Multibeam LED headlight setup can be ordered to replace the standard halogen headlamps.

Under the bonnet there are three new engines available in the A-Class. The 'M282' is a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol mill in the A200 has up to 120kW and 250Nm, and features cylinder deactivation when paired with a dual-clutch transmission.

The 'M260' 2.0-liter turbo for the A250 boasts a maximum of 165kW/350Nm, while the 'OM608' 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel in the A180d has up to 85kW/260Nm, and features an AdBlue filtration system with a large 28.3L tank, an improved turbo and lower weight.

Engine choices for the Australian range have yet to be confirmed.

In Europe, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard on the A250 and A180d, and optional on the A200, where a six-speed manual is also available.

The new electro-mechanical 4Matic all-wheel system is said to vary its torque distribution more quickly, and can send up to 50 per cent of it to the rear wheels.

The new A-Class features McPherson struts up front. The rear suspension layout depends on the model, with the A180d and A200 fitted with a torsion beam, and the A250 and all-wheel drive models fitted with a four-link setup. An active damper system is optional.

Australia

The new A-Class will arrive in Australia from the third quarter of 2018.