Benz A-Class May Come to U.S., Hot AMG Version Expected

Mercedes-Benz A 160 CDI Elegance

The classy little A-Class began life back in 1997 and has proven to be a trendsetter for Mercedes-Benz throughout the world. With a refresh for 2011, the compact hatch may well emerge in the U.S. as a four-door MPV (multipurpose vehicle), as the Europeans call them.

A car like the present A-Class (shown above) would represent Mercedes’ attempt to get its CAFE ratings down and at the same time break into the emerging market for upscale compacts like the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.

It’s about time. M-B should bring the car to the U.S. and promote it heavily. There are plenty of buyers who want a compact hatch or sedan, but hate the cheesy choices presently available. I think they’ll pay the freight for something upscale and different.

We see lots of A’s in Mexico, and in fact they are all over the world. I happen to think they totally outclass the BMW 1 Series.

Mercedes-BenzBenz is also looking to get the jump on cars like the upcoming Focus RS and the Golf R by producing a very interesting hot AMG A-Class, a four-door coupe version of which is expected to come to North America in 2013. Autocar claims the car will be “marketed aggressively” to attract younger buyers.

With a new kind of wave-pulse supercharger, four-wheel drive, and a dual-clutch gearbox, this A-car will replace the departed CLC sport coupe (not available in the U.S.) as a “junior CLS,” says Autocar. Its four cylinders are expected to produce about 270 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.

We can assure you that all this tech in a sweet smallish package won’t come cheap.

Would you be in the market for such a machine? What do you think it will cost?

—jgoods

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1 Comment

  1. I’ll bet the Benz A-Class will cost more than the BMW 1 Series, and the AMG version will be way more. Don’t think I’ll consider any A-Class cars next time I’m looking, unless they come in at lower prices.

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