Mercedes Previews Small Car Future with A-Class Concept

The world was stunned when Mercedes-Benz introduced the A-Class in 1997, which was a more downmarket entry than ever before. Since then, 1.7 million units of the MPV have been sold, and the car has never reached our shores.

It hasn’t been known for being the most stylish vehicle, but Mercedes is hoping to change that. The A-Class Concept at the Shanghai Auto Show is meant to provide a good preview of what to expect from the next-generation production vehicle.

While Audi has brought over the A3 and BMW introduced the 1-Series in the U.S, Mercedes has been content to keep the C-Class as the brand’s entry-level model for now. That could change with the next-generation of the A-Class, however. The wait to introduce in the U.S definitely seems to be worth it.

Look beyond some of the showcar pizzaz and you can see a car that clearly ditches the tall, narrow “Sandwich” design of the current model. Instead, it goes for more traditional hatchback proportions, with an aggressive design that wholeheartedly embraces Mercedes new styling themes.

The all-LED headlights flow into a protrusion for the grille, which is unique for its “starry night” design. Instead of traditional inlets, it utilizes numerous metallic silver hexagons on black stems. It’s a very neat design element we’d like to see make it to production.

Previously, Mercedes styling has been pretty benign. Starting with the redesigned CLS, designs from the brand have been bolder and more defined.

The concept is powered by a new 2.0-liter BlueEFFICIENCY four-cylinder making 210 horsepower. It is mated to Mercedes’ dual-clutch transmission. This engine series is designed to be transverse mounted and is slated to power the Mercedes small car range. Mercedes says the production car will be a technology leader in its class, with segment firsts being a radar-based collision warning system and adaptive Brake Assist.

Mercedes makes it clear the car “previews a new compact class era at Mercedes-Benz.” With an introduction at the New York International Auto Show, it is an era that could finally include the U.S as well. Check out our full gallery below to see what Mercedes has in store for the future of its compact lineup.

About The Author

Tony Pimpo is a young automotive journalist who lives in Northern California. He believes the future of the automotive industry will depend in a large part on the recommendation of enthusiasts and Generation Y. More than ever, automakers lately have realized the power of Gen Y. Not only in regards to buying power, but in driving opinion and spreading a brand’s message through the internet and various forms of social media. His appreciation for cars formed at an early age, thanks to his dad, who has always been involved with cars in different ways over the years. Tony has contributed to various websites in his pursuits, and is on staff at GMInsideNews, where he has been writing since the age of 12.

1 Comment on "Mercedes Previews Small Car Future with A-Class Concept"

  1. Car is gorgeous from the front and front only, from the side and back it's a big mess. I am a big fan of Mercedes but I don't like hatchbacks in general. I also think Benz should keep C-class as the entry level. They should not introduce an even more affordable model (A class) in the U.S. Yes, the economy is bad but luxury is supposed to be luxury. I think it will devalue the brand if the entry level models get too affordable. I like Benz to be expensive, even if I can't afford the top models like SL. It keeps the brand more prestigious.

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