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Mercedes A-Class at Geneva 2012

A stark contrast to the model preceding it, the Mercedes A-Class shown at Geneva follows a much more conventional hatchback style. Out on its own in the manufacturer’s model range, it is now a direct rival to the Golf GTI, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3.

Designed with ‘dynamism’ in mind, it will be promoted to a younger audience and offers some neat styling cues like a floating grille and curvy lines.

Four powerplants will be mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch auto transmission. The base model will be a 1.6-litre. At the other end of the scale 211 hp A250 will complete the range, with an AMG expected later this year.

It’s also got green credentials; every engine comes equipped with stop-start and the 1.6-litre will feature CAMTRONIC, which reduces consumption through reducing the amount of fuel used under partial throttle.

Check out the video to see the radical new design for yourself.