The all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatch is a clearly more emotive product that's aimed at a more youthful target audience.

Along with its new low-slung design, the new A comes packed with technology and introduces a new range of turbopetrol engines. Six models will be available when the new hatch goes on sale in South Africa this April and two of the models start below the 300-grand mark.

PRICES

A 180 BlueEfficiency - R275 000

A 200 BlueEfficiency - R298 000

A 180 CDI BlueEfficiency - R300 000

A 180 CDI BlueEfficiency AT - R310 000

A 220 CDI BlueEfficiency - R355 000

A 250 Sport - R395 000

UP TO 155kW

Only front-wheel drive versions will be offered for now, although the stoking hot A 45 AMG, revealed yesterday, will bring all-wheel drive to the range.

On the petrol front, the A 180 and A 200 BlueEfficiency models are powered by a new 1.6-litre direct injection turbopetrol, which puts out 90kW and 200Nm in the A 180 and 115kW/250Nm in the A 200.

The for-now-flagship A 250 Sport will meet VW's Golf GTI in the hot hatch fighting ring and it's equipped with a 2-litre version of the aforementioned engine, good for 155kW and 350Nm. The latter will run to 100km/h in just 6.6 seconds, says its maker.

At the other end of the extreme, the most efficient model in the range is the new A 180 CDI BlueEfficiency, powered by an 80kW/260Nm 1.5-litre turbodiesel motor said to be capable of 3.8 l/100km on a mixed route.

A more powerful oil-burning alternative is the 2.1-litre A 220 CDI, with 125kW, 350Nm and consumption of 4.4 l/100km.

All models come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, and the A 180 CDI can be ordered with a seven-speed DCT dual-clutch transmission.

The local spec levels will be announced closer to the vehicle's on-sale date. Overseas models offer items like full smartphone integration, a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive brake assist, Active Parking Assist and much more.