The Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan has been revealed this week, ahead of an Australian launch in the second quarter of next year.
Scheduled to launch in Europe "at the end of 2018", the global version of the A-Class Sedan – not to be confused with the A-Class L sedan revealed in April for the Chinese market – gets a completely new booty with added luggage capacity over its hatchback counterpart.
Measuring 4549mm long, 1796mm wide and 1446mm tall, the A-Class Sedan is 130mm longer and 6mm taller than the hatch, though the 2729mm wheelbase remains the same.
The German marque claims the new small sedan is "at the top of its segment with regard to rear headroom" with its 1024mm/944mm measurements front and rear, while the 420L boot area is 50L more accommodating than the hatchback.
In terms of design, the sedan sports the same 'predator' face as the hatch and the larger CLS four-door coupe, though the new rear end is a new look for the brand.
Unlike the same-same look worn by the larger C-Class, E-Class and S-Class sedans, the A-Class Sedan gets a unique rear that is more progressive and sporty than its larger stablemates, while the LED tail-light signature gets a dual-element treatment similar to the previous-gen A-Class hatchback.
Despite Mercedes-Benz touting the new model's increased practicality, the A-Class Sedan's swoopy lines make for a drag coefficient of 0.22 – which the company claims is the "lowest of all production vehicles worldwide". For reference, the hatchback features a 0.26Cd rating.
"In response to the wish of many customers, we now offer the A-Class for the first time also as a sedan car," said Britta Seeger, member of the board of management for Daimler AG.
"Anyone looking for a compact, sporty sedan with a separate boot now has a new attractive alternative. It will enable us to win new customers for Mercedes-Benz."
Standard across all variants will be the company's new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, offered in three variations globally.
Base versions overseas will get dual 7.0-inch displays for the driver's instrument binnacle and infotainment system, while the mid-tier package offers a 7.0-inch display paired with a 10.25-inch unit.
Finally, the flagship MBUX offering is a dual 10.25-inch setup – and going by local specifications for the A-Class hatchback, Australian-bound versions should get the top-spec version as standard.
Numerous high-end functions are included as part of the MBUX package, including an intelligent voice-activated assistant, in-built satellite navigation with augmented reality features in conjunction with the vehicle's external camera systems, and various online and app-based services.
There's also a range of available semi-autonomous driver assistance systems borrowed from higher models like the S-Class, including an adaptive cruise control system that uses map and navigation data to proactively adjust vehicle speed when approaching bends, intersections and roundabouts.
Additionally, there's features like autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, active lane-keep assist between 60 and 200km/h, and Pre-Safe Plus which pre-empts an imminent rear-end collision and "firmly apply the brakes" to minimise the risk of injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by a rear impact.
Under the skin there's a McPherson front suspension system, while the rear varies dependent on model. A torsion-beam rear axle is standard, though "more powerful" models and all-wheel drive 4Matic variants get a four-link setup – larger wheels and adaptive dampers also select this option.
From launch there will be two engine options available: one petrol and one diesel. The A200 features a 120kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as standard.
Buyers who prefer diesels can instead opt for the A180d, complete with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder oiler making 85kW and 260Nm, also paired to a seven-speed DCT.
While not explicitly stated in the press materials, we reckon a more powerful A250 4Matic version will launch afterwards, as per the hatch range – followed by performance-focused AMG A35 and A45 models.
Production of the new A-Class Sedan will kick off in Aguascalientes, Mexico, at the company's COMPAS (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes) facility – which is a joint venture between parent company Daimler and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
From 2019 production of the sedan-bodied A-Class will also go online at Mercedes-Benz's Rastatt plant in Germany, which also happens to be the company's lead plant for compact cars globally and the lead facility for global production control along with quality and supplier management.
The A-Class Sedan has been confirmed for a second-quarter 2019 launch Down Under, with pricing and specifications to be detailed closer to the on-sale date.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has also confirmed that locally-bound examples will be sourced from the Mexican plant.
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