We’ve seen plenty of spyshots of the next-generation 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class in recent months, and here’s a few more. However, these photos aren’t from our spy photographers, but rather from the chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dieter Zetsche.

In an article posted on his official LinkedIn profile, Zetsche details his time behind the wheel of the model during an internal test drive. Look closely at one of the photos, and you’ll even spot what appears to be the new CLS and what should be an updated GLE (refer below).

So, what new information can we garner from these photos? Not a whole lot really, as the car appears to be largely similar to our previous spyshots. This includes slimmer headlights at the front with new signature lighting, multi-spoke wheels, repositioned side mirrors and a longer bonnet.

A shot of Zetsche in the passenger seats reveals the same steering wheel design with a smaller central wheel boss with controls that mimic those on the W213 E-Class. The widescreen cockpit setup we saw on an earlier test mule appears to covered up in this instance.

Of course, you wouldn’t expect the big boss at Mercedes-Benz to reveal a whole lot about the new car at this moment, right? Zetsche did however, provide some insight into the new A-Class’ development process. For starters, the company uses purpose-built climatic wind tunnels to simulate the coldest Swedish winter or the hottest days in Death Valley.

This means the test cars are subjected to temperatures ranging from -40 to 60 degrees Celsius. Not only that, hurricanes with wind speeds of up to 265 km/h, tropical rainfall and snowstorms are all part of the standard testing procedures available.

He adds that internal test drives are still important by stating, “because the human factor remains key to success – especially with highly emotive products like a premium car. What’s the sound when you close the door? Does the driving performance live up to the sporty design? Do the car’s quality and ease of operation deserve the Mercedes star? We believe we have to hit the road and drive the cars ourselves to answer these questions.”

Naturally, Zetsche is pleased with the work done by the new A-Class development team, saying, “the product offensive can continue. So I’m now counting the days until 2018 when we can finally take the camouflage off the car.”

That product offensive points towards an expanded compact car range, which will total eight models in the future. The new A-Class should lead the charge, with others models like the new B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA coming after. All-new models being added to the current five-model line-up should include the A-Class sedan, GLB and a long wheelbase version of the A-Class sedan.

According to Zetsche, more than half of all customers who opted for a compact Mercedes-Benz model are new to the brand, while the average age of an A-Class customer in Europe has dropped by 13.5 years. For an even better perspective, two million Mercedes-Benz compact cars have been sold over the past five years.

GALLERY: 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class spyshots