Mercedes-Benz will reveal the first-ever A-Class sedan next week at the 2018 Beijing auto show.
The car is the second of eight body styles planned for Mercedes’ new generation of compacts, the first being the A-Class hatchback revealed in February.
We won’t see the hatch in the United States but the sedan should come here. It’s expected on sale in the fall as a 2019 model, and when it arrives it should become the Three-Pointed Star’s new entry-level option due to an expected starting price of about $30k.
We’re not talking about a repeat of the CLA but a roomier, notchback sedan. A coupe-like CLA will stick around, though.
Underpinning Mercedes’ new compacts is an updated version of the MFA (Modular Front-drive Architecture) platform used for the outgoing generation. Referred to as MFA2, the updated platform brings weight savings plus the capacity for alternative drivetrains.
The standard powertrain in the U.S. should be a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 delivering about 224 horsepower to the front wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. All-wheel drive will be available and standard on high-performance models from AMG. This time there is expected to be both 35 and 45 series, with the latter likely to deliver more than 400 hp.
The MFA2-based cars also benefit from a much more advanced interface. Dubbed MBUX, short for Mercedes-Benz User Experience, the new interface features digital screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system, much like on the pricier E-Class and S-Class models. However, there’s also touch capability for the infotainment screen and you’ll also be able to use natural speech to control many vehicle functions.