The most affordable way to get behind the wheel of a shiny new Mercedes is to head to your local dealer and place an order for the A-Class hatch – if you can hang on, the next generation will be out likely in the first half of 2018 judging by the thin camouflage strip applied onto what seems to be a production-ready prototype. This disguise looks similar to the protective film some of the fancier cars are delivered with and if you look closer at the front end, you’ll see some extra plastic bits flanking the lower grille.
We have a pretty good idea of what’s hiding underneath the cream camo thanks to the Concept A Sedan that was revealed earlier in 2017. The showcar was also an early look at the first-ever A-Class saloon seen here carrying a swirly disguise on its straightforward body shape, without the sloping roofline of the more expensive CLA four-door coupe.
The hottest member of the A-Class family has also been caught by the spy camera while riding extremely low. For some reason, the A45 – probably due in 2019 – had round exhaust tips instead of square ones you see on all AMG products. Old habits die hard at Mercedes and there’s a good chance the test vehicle had a provisional setup and will switch to the regular configuration for the final car.
Gallery: 2018 Mercedes B-Class spy photos
Spies also saw the most sensible model of Mercedes’ compact car lineup, the B-Class MPV. It had a bit more camouflage than the others as the bonnet carried a rather ungainly piece of plastic, while the front bumper was concealed as well. Unlike the A-Class models where the mirrors are positioned lower on the door panels, the B has them sitting next to the pillars.
The five-door A-Class hatch will lead the way – we should get to see it in March at the 2018 Geneva motor show. The saloon version will follow, with the other members of the compact car family to arrive later. We still haven’t heard anything new about the rumored GLB crossover, but with Mercedes announcing plans to expand its entry-level lineup, it might just happen.