The current Mercedes Benz A-Class was not conceptualized for a market like India, but the one that's coming up the next few years could have been/could be designed for countries like India where the chance for premium hatchbacks to blossom is burgeoning.
Rumor has it the new Front and Four Wheel drive MFA (Modular Front antrieb) platform that underpin the next generation A-Class, will also form the basis for on an entry-level Infinity if the Renault-Daimler deal comes through.
The A-Class is a sub 4-meter hatchback with engine displacements of 1.5-liters and above. Autobild reports the next generation A-Class will be longer and lower (read as more leg room) to help lower the centre of gravity which in turn will aid handling. If this bit of news is true, we've lost hopes of the A-Class qualifying as a small car in India and availing excise benefits.
What we are happy about though, is the A-Class being more driver-centric. It also looks like a proper hatchback (and unlike a plump Smart Fortwo). The car, according to the Autobild report will be launched in October 2012.
Source - Benz Insider