Premium automaker Mercedes Benz has released the first images of its upcoming A-class replacement. First of all, the Concept A-Class is smaller than anything Mercedes has dared bring to these shores.
The technical highlights include a new, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, a dual clutch transmission and a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist.
Thought it is just a concept, it might show the direction the front-wheel drive platform is headed-one that will appeal to a more youthful and enthusiastic buyer.
As opposed to the tall-box design of the current A-Class, the Concept A-Class has a lithe, cab-rearward profile that reminds us of cars like the BMW 1-series hatchback and Lexus CT200h. Falling in line with the rest of the family, the squared-off nose is aggressive and wears the Tri-Star emblem well.
Up front, Mercedes have employed LED lighting along with an unconventional material for the grille – metallic silver hexagons on black stems, designed to create a ‘starry sky’ motif in concert with the LEDs. Moreover, if you look at the car from the side, the Concept A shows hints of the CLS and even the R-Class. The wind and the waves, as well as aviation engineering, were the sources of inspiration for its designers.
This front-wheel drive model is powered by a four-cylinder petrol engine from the new M270 series. It was designed for transverse installation, and thanks to direct injection and turbocharging it offers a high performance potential together with minimal emissions and fuel consumption. The Concept A-Class is equipped with the two-litre variant of the new engine, developing 155 kW (210 hp). This BlueEFFICIENCY unit is combined with the new Mercedes-Benz dual clutch transmission.
Reports in the past year have also pointed to a high-powered AMG variant, targeting the more top-shelf small offerings from the company’s competitors, including theGolf R and its Audi S3 sibling.
By concept-car standards, the A-class’s interior is fairly conventional. The dashboard is said to be inspired by an airplane wing, and is covered in fabric rather than plastic or wood. The dashboard air vents are reminiscent of jet engines and the centre console is described by Mercedes as a ‘modern flight panel’.
The Concept A-class has full smartphone integration with major functions displayed as ‘apps’ on the main display and operated via the rotary/push control.
We really hope that Mercedes will keep this design line on the production version.