Shanghai: New Merc A-Class marks a compact future image

Mercedes-Benz will launch four new compact models starting from next year with the new A-Class, said CEO Dieter Zetsche, speaking at the unveil of the Concept A-Class.

This car, which will be in showrooms from next year, marks a new design direction from Mercedes Benz, he said, and is the first of these new compact vehicles, he said.

The design injects some dynamism into the third generation A-Class in a bid to provide more serious opposition to the BMW 1 series.

The concept is powered by a BlueEFFICIENCY turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 210bhp and making it nearly twice as powerful as any current A-Class.

One notable feature is the radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist, a first in this size of car. The system gives the driver visual and audible warnings and prepares the braking pressure needed when the driver hits the pedal.

The styling for the concept was previewed at last year’s Geneva show with the F800 Style that was part of design boss Gorden Wagener’s ‘Bionic’ styling language, which will dictate the look of numerous sweeping Mercedes saloons all due to be launched over the next few years.

The profile of the Concept A-Class is dominated by two strong lines emphasising the car’s coupe-like character and giving it a much more purposeful appearance than the outgoing model.