The new W177 Mercedes-Benz A-Class looks set to receive a plug-in hybrid variant, according to an Autocar UK report. The A-Class PHEV will likely wear the brand’s EQ Power badge, and join the existing line-up of petrol and diesel offerings. With zero-emissions plug-in capability, the upcoming model will rival against the Audi A3 e-tron.

Prototypes of the A-Class PHEV have been sighted undergoing testing ahead of its possible debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show in September. The report, which cited internal documents, stated that the car – dubbed the A 250 e 4Matic – could draw power from a M282 1.3 litre four-cylinder petrol engine (165 hp), which will be married to a 67 kW (90 hp) electric motor.

As the name suggests, it will get all-wheel drive, with the combustion engine powering the front wheels and electric motor exclusively channeling drive to the rear axle. Besides that, a detuned version of the engine (138 hp, but with same 67 kW e-motor) could also be offered in the A 220 e 4Matic.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz said even though there are plans to roll out plug-in hybrid versions of the A-Class, a pure electric variant is not in the works despite the newly-developed MFA2 platform being able to accommodate an electric powertrain. Instead, such a model will be part of the EQ line-up and be called the EQA, which joins the EQC SUV and a possible EQS later on.

Last year, boss Dieter Zetsche confirmed that Mercedes-Benz will offer an electrified version of every model it produces by 2022. An all-electric A-Class has already existed in the past in the form of the limited A-Class E-Cell way back in September 2010.

In Malaysia, introduction of the W177 A-Class has been delayed, reportedly due to production issues which have delayed the market deployment of the hatchback on a global level. It will likely go on sale here by year-end at the earliest.

GALLERY: W177 Mercedes-Benz A-Class plug-in hybrid spyshots

GALLERY: W177 Mercedes-Benz A-Class