We've caught a cheeky glimpse of the new A-Class without its disguise on.
The official reveal of the 2018 Mercedes A-Class is one day closer, whenever it might actually take place, but we've managed to get pictures of the new car fully undressed of its extensive camouflage for the first time.
Judging by the orange paint, we are likely looking at a car built for crash testing purposes, and taking into account the small wheels and what seem to be halogen headlights, the vehicle in question is a lesser trim level.
In some of the adjacent spy images we can also see the rear end of the first-ever A-Class saloon sitting right behind it, also covered in orange. This new sub-CLA model has already been previewed through the Concept A saloon unveiled earlier this year at the Shanghai motor show.
Both the hatch and the saloon have a somewhat predictable design – the Concept A model was clearly a reliable indicator as to what Mercedes is planning to do with the A-Class range.
Compared with the outgoing car, the new entry-level model from Mercedes will adopt sharper headlights and rear lights lending the A-Class a slightly sportier appearance. The side mirrors will be moved from the A-pillars to sit lower on the door panels – probably to enable a sleeker body with a lower drag coefficient. Although it’s hard to say by looking at these images, the next generation is likely slated to grow in size a little bit, particularly when it comes down to the wheelbase to boost rear legroom.
Riding on an evolution of the company's MFA platform, the new A-Class five-door hatchback could debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2018. Once again, the lineup will be topped by an A45 AMG model, which has already been confirmed to get at least 400bhp and there might even be a more powerful derivative.
Elsewhere in the Mercedes range, there's a new B-Class on the way, which the German car maker will try and distance from its hatchback sibling a little more this time round. The CLA four-door coupe model will also be moved a little upmarket to make space for the A-Class saloon that Mercedes will also be selling in some markets. We've even been hearing a little gossip about a GLB SUV, which will make the Mercedes-Benz model range even more confusing.
All of these vehicles are slated to share a revamped interior with a dual-digital screen layout as seen in the more expensive Mercedes models. That means the instrument dials will be replaced by a fully digital display, at least on the fancier models as in some countries the cheaper trims could still have an old-fashioned setup. At the same time, the controversial tablet-style infotainment will become a thing of the past since the display will be neatly integrated into the dashboard.
If the A-Class does get officially revealed in Geneva, it seems likely we will get to see it online as early as February.