We've been looking forward to this car ever since we saw the striking Concept A in person in Stuttgart last summer. While it was obvious that no volume seller would end up looking that cool, we're glad to say that the essence of the concept is still there. More still, we think we may have even had our mark on Benz's new pint-size hatchback. More on that later.

The A-Class will be powered by a suite of four pots. We, as Americans, will no doubt have access to only one. We think it will probably be the 211hp turbo unit. All of these engines feature direct injection, turbo-charging, and start/stop. They will be mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch. 

Design-wise, one of our favorite elements from the concept was the grille. It was made up of a bunch of posts with chrome hexagons on the tips, and it gave the effect that the hexes were simply floating in place. Of course, we knew that wouldn't make it to production because it would be difficult to clean. We also can't help but remember suggesting that if the chrome hexes were simply mounted on black mesh, the effect would be preserved without impacting practicality. Lo and behold...

[via Mercedes-Benz]