The current third generation of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is on the market for more than four years now and apparently the German company is already working on a successor for the sexy hatch.

Here we have the first exclusive spy photos of the new A-Class that is slated to arrive in late 2017 as a 2018 model year. Still wearing tons of camouflage, the vehicle has roughly the same size as the current car, but features even more sloping roofline and a thicker C-pillar. As far as we can see so far, the hatch is about to eschew its rounded looks in favor of an edgy design with sharper lines.

The 2018 A-Class will make the switch to a brand new platform that will replace the MFA architecture, also found in the B-Class, CLA, GLA, and CLA Shooting Brake. Most likely, this will lead to a healthy diet, improving fuel efficiency and performance.

In terms of engine choice, the vehicle will come with a familiar range of gasoline and diesel four-cylinder turbocharged units, mated to manual and automatic dual-clutch transmissions. As far as the range-topping A45 AMG model is concerned, this one will get a brand new four-cylinder unit with more than 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts).

Just like the current model, the new A-Class will be aimed at young customers, and in order to attract them it will offer a wide variety of new technologies. You can expect an adaptive cruise control, LED headlights and taillights, and improved infotainment system, while the car could also pack a semi-autonomous driving system, as those radars on the windscreen suggest.

While it’s too early to say when the 2018 A-Class will debut, most likely this will happen during the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Sales in Europe will start in early 2018 and shortly after the car could reach the U.S.

Gallery: 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class spy photos

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