According to Mercedes-Benz, by unveiling the Concept A Sedan at the Shanghai motor show this week, it is ‘providing an outlook into the next generation of compact vehicles and a potential new body type’.
Further, Mercedes reckons the show car is ‘hot and cool at the same time’. We’ll let you be the judge of that, but there’s no doubt this new concept is significantly more attractive than the current CLA-Class we are familiar with.
"Our Concept A Sedan shows that the time of creases is over”, said Gorden Wagener, chief design office for Daimler AG.
“With its perfect proportions and a sensual treatment of surfaces with reduced lines, it is the next milestone of sensual purity and has the potential to introduce a new design era."
There’s absolutely no doubt whatsoever as to how important compact vehicles are for Mercedes-Benz globally, hence the value placed on getting the design right for this concept.
Mercedes-Benz has sold more than two million compact vehicles around the world since 2012, illustrating just how important this segment is.
As you’d expect, this A-Class concept features the latest in innovative assistance systems, connectivity, and driving dynamics, as well as the potential to broaden the appeal of the platform with yet another body style.
Buyers will now be able to choose between A, B, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA within the same basic segment.
The Concept A is 4570mm long, 1870mm wide and 1462mm high and retains a coupe-like silhouette. It’s punctuated by short overhangs front and rear, as well as a svelte greenhouse that has been offset rearward.
A relatively vertical C-pillar, large side windows and a high beltline are all tips of the hat to conventional sedan design.
The tough wheel arch design is filled with 20-inch wheels, while there are flush door handles, and exterior rear-view mirrors, which stand proud of the sedan’s belt lines.
Mercedes-Benz has opted for a deep Panamerica grille design tilted forward, with vertical inserts and the signature star in the centre as well as stretched ‘power domes’ in the bonnet.
A dark chrome trim strip and stylised lower air inlets round out the front-end treatment.
The headlights mirror conventional current Mercedes-Benz design DNA, and the grid structure has been coated with a UV paint, which has been exposed to ultraviolet light.
The result is headlamps that glow in different colours depending on the light that is on them. The DRLs for example, are white.
The same lighting tech is present at the rear, as well as a rear diffuser, trimmed in black and satin chrome to match the front. Integrated exhaust deflectors are also finished in dark chrome and add a premium touch to the styling. Privacy glass and a panoramic sunroof are fitted as well.
As for a production future... Mercedes-Benz Australia couldn't give us any more information today, but we're confident you'll see the new sedan on the Australian market by late 2018. Don't be surprised if a new A-Class hatch arrives at the same time.