Mercedes-Benz Concept A Sedan (2017)

Mercedes-Benz Concept A Sedan Previews Production Model Due in 2018

Back in 2012, at the Beijing auto show, Mercedes unveiled the Concept Style Coupe, a rakish four-door based on the A Class platform that previewed the forthcoming CLA. Five years later, this time in Shanghai, Mercedes took the wraps off the Concept A Sedan, which previews a forthcoming new model from the Stuttgart-based carmaker and the likely CLA replacement.

The Mercedes-Benz Concept A Sedan (seems Mercedes marketing has run out of clever concept car names) measures in at 4570mm long, 1870mm wide and 1462mm tall. Though Mercedes claims this is the first compact class sedan ever created by the company, it is only a fraction shorter than the CLA but wider and taller (the CLA measures 4630mm/1777mm/1437mm in sedan form).

The front of the car is demarcated by a new grille element that recalls the Panamericana grille found on the illustrious (and iconic) 300SL and the AMG-GT, giving the front end a very sporty demeanor even when seen in profile. At each end of the grille are triangular shaped headlamps and their intricate latticed detailing — something previously seen on the AMG GT Concept shown at the 2017 Geneva motor show.

Riding on 20-inch wheels and 40-series tires, the Concept A Sedan is youthful in appearance and suitably anchored, even if the bodyside to glass ratio is a bit less generous than on the GT concept or even the production CLA. The design team did their best to hide the front drive platform but the front overhang is a dead giveaway, especially when seen in relation to the shorter rear.

Mercedes-Benz’s A Class model line is due a replacement next year, so the Concept A Sedan previews the design direction the company will take with that car. Largely devoid of ornamentation, the A Sedan continues to showcase Mercedes’ ‘Sensual Purity’ design ethos, with full surfaces accented by few lines. Indeed the only lines on the Concept A Sedan concept are the undercut shoulder that runs the width of the vehicle and the lightcatcher in the lower door.

The rear end is well resolved, simple and elegant, however I can’t help but see the taillamp graphic as a rip on Lamborghini’s characteristic arrow treatment.

Regrettably, the concept shown in Shanghai was devoid of an interior, being the second car in as many auto show debuts to have blacked out windows. Guess Mercedes wants to keep us guessing.

All will be revealed, however, when the A Class production model makes its debut, and this compact sedan to rival the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series sedans goes on sale in the world’s largest market at the end of next year.


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