Spy photos show a next-generation A-Class in a coupe-like 5-door hatch bodystyle similar to the BMW 1-Series.

Here are the first spy shots available of the 2012 next-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

We've previously seen 3-door A-Class concept which debuted at Auto Shanghai and this 5-door prototype caught here is showing a similar body design.

The overall shape of this next-gen A-class is looking very BMW 1-Series-like and very different from the current MPV/egg-shaped A-Class as well as what we've seen of the upcoming new B-Class too.

It seems that Mercedes-Benz is setting up the 2012 A-Class as a direct competitor to the BMW 1-Series and the Audi A3 in a way that it never was before. And it will be the next-generation B-Class that will be offering an SUV variant to go up against the very successful BMW X1.

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