The A250's 155kW/350Nm petrol engine will headline the Mercedes-Benz A-Class range when it goes in sale in Australia in the first quarter of next year.
Engine details have been released for the range and show the A250 Sport to be the luxury carmaker's take on hot hatches and with a 0-100km/h time of just 6.6 seconds, is a seriously quick car.But there's more on the way.
Pressed about a rumoured all-wheel-drive AMG performance model, Stamoulis confirms "we should see another variant later in the life of the A-Class and it will be more powerful than an A250 Sport". Stamoulis says powertrains are still being assessed for Australia but adds improvements to efficiency and power with the petrol engines means the model range is likely to skew in that direction.
"The diesel engines are a showcase of our technology and already meet Euro 6 emission levels," he says. "Just what engines and transmissions we take is still being decided." All engines use direct injection and turbocharging and the idle stop/start engine shut-off.
Mercedes-Benz Australia is expected to put its hand up for all three petrol engines, starting with the 1.6-litre turbo mills powering the 90kW/200Nm A180 and the 100kW/250Nm A200. Both will be sold in Europe with six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch manual automated transmissions, while the A250 will be an auto-only offering.
There are four diesel engines though Mercedes-Benz Australia is only thought to be looking at the 100kW/300Nm A200 CDI and the top-spec A220 with 125kW/350Nm. The standard features run from a radar-based crash-avoidance system that should prevent nose-to-tail shunts at up to 30km/h to direct integration with Apple's Siri voice-control system to let drivers navigate the web or their iPhone while on the move.
Its safety credentials are all but guaranteed — the B-Class is built on the same platform and has just been rated the safest car ANCAP has yet tested. Mercedes has yet to announce pricing for the A-Class but Carsguide expects it to start in the mid $30,000s and climb to around $50,000 for the A250. The A-Class is one of the models Mercedes sees taking it back to the top of the global prestige car heap and the five-door hatch will be priced and equipped to compete with the likes of BMW's 1 Series and the Audi A3.