According to the Detroit Bureau, Mercedes-Benz may bring its A-Class compact hatch to the U.S. when the next generation rolls out in 2017.
Mercedes-Benz officials hinted that its entry-level model, which has been a huge sales success in Europe, could be a fit for the U.S. market once its new manufacturing facility in Mexico goes live.
The German automaker will partner with Renault-Nissan on a new plant called COMPAS (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes), with the first models being produced wearing Infiniti badges. It’s likely that Infiniti’s new Q30 hatch will roll out in 2017 alongside the next-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class, as both would ride on the same platform.
Presently, Mercedes-Benz only offers the four-door coupe CLA in North America, but with the recent resurgence of luxury and/or performance hatchbacks from Volkswagen, Audi, Ford, and now Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz may be readying itself to join the fray.
Should the luxury brand’s A45 AMG be sold in the U.S. as well, the hot hatch market will have a number of 300-plus horsepower contenders by 2017, including the Ford Focus RS, Volkswagen Golf R400, Audi S3, and Honda Type R.
Presently, the European-only Mercedes A-Class comes in a few flavors: the A160, which uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine, the A180d, which is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesel, the A220d, with its 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel, and the A250, which uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine. At the top of the range, the 2016 A45 AMG now makes 375 hp and 350 pound-feet of torque from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.
Should the A-Class book a ticket to U.S. shores, expect a small range of gas-only, or gas-electric hybrid powertrains to be offered.