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Mercedes-Benz has pulled off the wraps of the production ready A-Class hatchback, which to be honest looks so smashing that we can’t wait for its Indian arrival in 2013. The German automaker will be assembling the Mercedes A-Class at its Chakan facility and is investing Rs. 350 crore to setup a new assembly line (for B-Class and A-Class) and a paint shop. Currently Mercedes does not have a paint shop, due to which cars are send to Tata Motors paint facility for painting. The 2013 Mercedes A-Class is quite similar to the Concept version, which is a very good thing indeed.

The all new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is new from every angle and is designed on a new sheet of paper right from the start. The old A-Class was very MPVish but the new model forgoes that design for a more appealing and sporty styling. The new A-Class is based on Mercedes’ new Modular Front Architecture platform and measures 4292 mm in length, 1780 mm in width and 1433 mm in height. The A-Class uses a front-wheel drive layout and is powered by a range of engine including a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 121 HP of power and a 1.8-litre diesel producing 108 HP of power and 250 Nm of torque. There are more engines on offer but we are unsure of which Mercedes-Benz will offer in India. The A220 CDI is quite likely and produces 168 HP of power and 350 Nm of torque. The A-Class features start/stop function and uses a 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission.

Mercedes-Benz always strives to make its cars safer and the A-Class will feature a host of safety features including Lane Assist, Blind Spot Assist, 6 Airbags, ABS, EBD, TCS and the likes. There will be an AMG version too which would produce in excess of 300 BHP. The A-Class AMG could be brought down in India to create brand awareness. What Mercedes could do is offer a cut feature variant of the A-Class with a manual transmission and a fuel efficient engine to woo young buyers to the Mercedes-Benz brand.

Mercedes-Benz plans to launch the A-Class after the B-Class. The B-Class will be priced below Rs. 25 lakhs, Mercedes-Benz India CEO and MD, Peter Honegg told us recently. This means that the A-Class will be positioned even lower and we can expect the Mercedes A-Class to be priced around Rs. 20 lakhs. This will result in the A-Class competing with BMW’s MINI and Volkswagen’s Beetle. With the A-Class running on diesel power, there is little doubt on who will come out victorious in this battle of the Germans. Volvo will join the fray with the launch of the V40 hatchback. The world is going compact indeed.

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