The Germany-based car spotter has even called this “creepy” – which we tend to agree to it being an accurate characterization – with a very odd bumper that seemingly houses a prototype radar.
There are numerous questions to be asked here without actual answers. We can start by uncovering the mystery behind the use of a W176 generation prototype when there are numerous W177 test cars doing the test rounds across Europe. We could extrapolate some information – for example the badges are not replicated Mercedes logos, but housings for an enhanced radar cruise control system of sorts, something everyone takes for granted even in mainstream models not wearing the three-star badge. Up on the windshield is also the full active safety suite comprised of numerous cameras. Then there’s the question of why engineers fitted more than one radar on the test car – are they testing more than one wavelength, or are they using it to sort of better “triangulate” an object’s distance and location.
Another interesting assumption would be the fact that they aren’t interested in something related to the A Class, and simply use the vehicle as a test bed for a developing autonomous technology. Another assumption is they are testing some tech for the upcoming new W177 generation A Class, and don’t want to take away a full prototype from other tests, as they would strive to enhance this particular system to become ready for when they release the new compact car.