From the factor of styling alone I believe Mercedes Benz has nailed it. It looks so much better balanced than the BMW 1series and is even more avant garde than the clinical looking A3. The Mercedes Benz A-class is actually very un-Mercedes Benz-like in styling. The curves are very fashion forward and feature lines are very distinctive on the sides. It is styled to capture the youngish crowd and it works extremely well. I predict that the new A-class should bring in sales from people who never even considered a Mercedes Benz before.
The front wheel drive A-class will have 4 cylinder engines from both Renault (via a JV arrangement kind of thing) and Mercedes itself. The petrol units will use a combination of turbocharging and direct-injection. The base 1.6-litre petrol engine will come from Renault. It will deliver 113bhp in the A180. Further up the line-up is the widely used Mercedes M270 engine. The Mercedes 1.6liter engine comes in two different states of tune -154bhp in the A200 and 208bhp in the A250. The A250 will be the one that pits the A-class against VW's Golf GTI.
Expect right hand drive versions of the Mercedes Benz A-class to go on sale in early 2013. Also expect an AMG version that would give headaches to Audi RS3 and BMW M135i owners. The AMG A-class will be equipped with all-wheel drive and an AMG tuned Mercedes Benz 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that is already rumoured to hammer out 350bhp. When that happens, who would have thought that a Mercedes Benz would be the hot hatch that motorheads would dream of having.