Mike Stevens | Jul 23, 2010

Mercedes-Benz tuning arm AMG is set to turn its attention to the next-generation A-Class in an effort to woo younger buyers, according to reports out of Europe in recent weeks.

While earlier speculation had pointed to an AMG-enhanced B-Class, these new reports suggest that Mercedes is looking instead to its smaller A-Class, aimed at the Golf R and the Audi S3, among others.

According to the UK's Autocar, the new model will be heavily inspired by the menacing lines of the F800 Style concept revealed at Geneva earlier this year.

The hi-po A-Class would be the first compact car developed by AMG. Speaking with industry paper Automotive News recently, AMG CEO Volker Mornhinweg said the enhanced hatch could appear as soon as early 2012.

The BlueZero concept unveiled at Detroit in 2009.
The BlueZero concept unveiled at Detroit in 2009.

No technical details for an AMG A-Class have been offered, although a specially-developed four-cylinder engine is likely to provide motivation. As with other AMG models, larger brakes, a sports body kit and an (even more) upmarket interior trim are also likely to appear.

For now, all AMG models are powered by V8 engines, with a new 5.5 litre twin-turbo engine set to replace the existing 6.2 litre engine.

Mercedes has offered no details for the regular A- or B-Class models, but hybrid variants - possibly based on the B-Class F-Cell unveiled last August - are expected to feature among the hatch's powertrain options.

Other hybrid options include the new diesel hybrid technology scheduled to feature in the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC, and the plug-in hybrid technology previewed in the Vision S500 concept at Frankfurt last year.

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