Friday 2nd February – make a note of this date because this is when Mercedes-Benz will unveil the all-new A-Class to the world.

The physical reveal of the premium small family car will be staged in Amsterdam and you’ll need a personal invite to get it. However, the likes of you and I can still experience the car’s debut via a live stream at https://media.mercedes-benz.com/A-Class2018 – a countdown timer says the press conference will begin at 7.00pm CET with the stream starting 15 minutes earlier.

Mercedes is well aware of the new car’s relevance. The current-gen A-Class has been a mega-seller, shifting well over 500,000 units in Europe alone.

Actual details on the forthcoming model are few and far between, but you can bet your bonce on the fact it’ll be more visually striking, lighter, larger (marginally) and more fuel-efficient than the previous A-Class.

Considering there are now plug-in version of the C- and E-Class, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it emerged that Mercedes has managed to find the space to shoehorn a plug-in hybrid powertrain into the hatchback too.

A statement from Mercedes praised the current car for contributing to the brand’s “more youthful brand image” and provided strong hints as to what to expect.

It read: “The new Mercedes-Benz A‑Class retains its youthful and dynamic character, yet it is also more grown up and comfortable than ever. It completely redefines modern luxury in the compact class and revolutionises interior design.”

We should expect a more tech-driven interior with confirmation that the cabin will come with what is being called ‘MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience’.

It sounds fancy but it’s essentially an umbrella term for the multimedia system, which is able to learn, thanks to artificial intelligence. It also includes a high-resolution widescreen cockpit with touchscreen control, navigation display with augmented reality technology plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is launched by saying “Hey Mercedes”.

So forget “okay Google”, for Merc drivers, it’s going to be “Hey Mercedes” very soon.

How soon? That’s unclear. The next-gen A-Class could be in showrooms by the end of the year, but don’t be disappointed if you don’t see it over here until early 2019.

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