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2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Revealed In Patent Leak Photo:
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Mike Stevens | May, 12 2011 | 4 Comments

The wait, short as it was, is over: here is the 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, revealed today in a handful of leaked images from the European patent office.

Based on the ultra-sharp Concept A-Class revealed at last month's Shanghai Auto Show, the 2012 A-Class remains relatively loyal to its progenitor.

The usual pre-launch 'softening' sees the grille and lights transformed to a simpler and more market-friendly design. The roofline too has been levelled out, although the production three-door version may draw more inspiration from the concept.

Moving away from the 'minivan' styling of its predecessor, the new A-Class will give Mercedes a more direct competitor to Audi's A3 and BMW's 1 Series - although the Merc is expected to remain a front-wheel-drive alternative to the rear-driven 1.

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The new A-Class may also offer a pricier competitor to the Golf GTI: the concept shown at Shanghai is powered by a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0 litre petrol engine, directing 156kW to the front wheels.

Reports in the past year have also pointed to a high-powered AMG variant, targeting the more top-shelf small offerings from the company's competitors, including the Golf R and its Audi S3 sibling.

Speculated power figures for the AMG version vary wildly however, with Britain's Autocar claiming numbers upwards of 230kW - putting the front-wheel-drive A-Class AMG into Ford Focus RS territory.

The 2012 A-Class is expected to make its production debut at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.

 

Australia

The current A-Class is no longer offered in Australia, the larger B-Class filling the 'small car' niche in the German carmaker's local line-up.

The new A-Class represents a significant step forward for the company's plans in the segment however, and an Australian debut for the new model is likely.

 
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