Based on the revised MFA platform, the new A is bigger than the outgoing vehicle.
He added that the A class could be the first true "smartphone on wheels" thanks to MBUX, which Mercedes says offers better displays, improved speech recognition capabilities - which can be activated either via a button on the steering wheel or by simply saying "Hey Mercedes" - as well as predictive learning abilities.
A host of turbo-four engines will provide motivation, with the gas side of the lineup ranging from a 1.3-liter created with Renault (keep in mind that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is now the world's number one carmaker by sales volume), while higher-powered models will use 2.0-liter mills. In addition to voice commands, drivers can also control the vehicle via the new touch capability on the infotainment system, touchpad on the center console, or touch control buttons on the steering wheel.
Other big-car features making their way on to the A-Class are adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and safety features such as blind spot assist, which will look out for cyclists and pedestrians you might not have seen.
It was confirmed to Australian media that wireless Apple CarPlay will be available on all models in an effort to take on national rival BMW. Load capacity has been increased by 29 litres over the previous auto and now sits at 370 litres with the seats up.
The longer and wider body gives occupants more shoulder, head and leg room as well as increased space for luggage.
The new A-Class will feature two engines at launch in the United Kingdom - the A180d features a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 115bhp and 192lb ft of torque and achieves 68.9mpg and 108g/km Carbon dioxide on the official combined cycle.
Each will be sold in varying states of tune depending on the badge. All of these come with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, although a six-speed manual is available on the gas engine with the lower output. "With MBUX-the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience-we are creating a completely new customer experience".
However, Wheels understands the A200 will be the first model to launch locally, likely fitted with the 1.4-litre petrol engine, and will be due in the third quarter of 2018. This will be introduced by the new A-Class, which should land soon.
Pricing and availability haven't been announced yet, but Mercedes says they'll have more information on the vehicle later this year. For front-drive models, and those with smaller engines, a torsion-beam is retained. More engines will eventually be added and the 4Matic all-wheel drive system is optional. It's that last one that's important as automakers figure out how cars will be used and shared in the future.
Mercedes has already announced three new powertrains for the A Class.
Other touches aimed at boosting the day-to-day practicality of the A-Class include a reduction in the cladding on the car's A-pillar, which makes for an improvement in visibility of 10 percent, says Mercedes.
What's the cliché about Germans and a sense of humour?