Shown at an exclusive preview event in Germany on Wednesday evening (November 22nd), the new internally designated W177 A-class adopts a similar design to that of the E and S-class, with the now obligatory dual digital displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment system, new steering wheel with touchpad like buttons, turbine air vents and a number of toggle switches that adjust the heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
In an interview with autoblog.com, Mercedes-Benz Head of Interior Design, Hartmut Sinkwitz, stated that the A-class will offer a choice of three displays depending on the model selected; a standard seven-inch unit, one seven-inch as well as a 10.25-inch setup, and on top spec models, the dual 10.25-inch configuration.
"Thanks to the visual separation of the lower section from the main body of the dashboard, the former appears to float in front of the dashboard. At the same time, the A-Class is the first series-production model to dispense completely with a classic cockpit shroud," Sinkwitz was quoted as saying.
"This literally places the large widescreen cockpit with its bonded glass technology in the forefront. Moreover, there is no longer a display in the A/C control panel, as the visual representation is exclusively via the central display.”
In addition, the A-class will also be offered with climate controlled seats and a choice of 64 ambient lighting colours, with Mercedes-Benz also claiming improvements in head, leg and shoulder room both front and rear, and a 29-litre gain in boot space for a total of 370-litres. It also states that the boot floor itself has been lengthen by 115 mm and the loading aperture widened by 200 mm.
Confirmed to make its world debut at next year's Geneva Motor Show, the A-class will ride on Benz's MFA2 front-wheel drive platform that will also underpin the Concept A sedan shown in Shanghai earlier this year, and come powered by an assortment of petrol and diesel engines in part co-developed with Renault.
A plug-in hybrid and a new performance model, the latter reportedly set to carry the A32 or A36 moniker, will also become available followed by the much anticipated A45, which will a pack a 298 kW 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.