Just when there were doubts about the future of Mercedes’ A-Class, the German automaker comes out and releases what is arguably the hottest looking hatchback concept we’ve seen in a while.
This is the Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class, and oh dear Lord, does it look mighty divine. We can’t get enough of the concept’s overall design, especially that sharp as a tack, starry, starry night-inspired grille. Of course, we don’t expect each and every element of the Concept A-Class to make it to the production version, but at the very least, we know the direction Mercedes is taking with their hatch-segment models.
Yeah, no more of those box-shaped, minivan-looking cars whose only redeeming value was that it had the brand’s tri-star logo on it. But the new Concept A-Class really is something else. it’s got edge, it’s got attitude, and it’s got class.
UPDATE 04/20/2011: Car and Driver had their way with Mercedes and ended up coaxing some wonderful news coming out of the New York Auto Show. The Mercedes Concept A-Class is indeed headed to the production line and it will also find its way over to the States. Sweet!
UPDATE 09/08/11: The Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class is getting some serious technological juice courtesy of a range of new connectivity functions, including Twitter and Facebook integration, text-to-speech translation of email messages and status updates. The whole concept may still be year’s from being produced commercially, but it does give us an idea on what the future Mercedes infotainment system is going to look like. Check out the video to find out more about the Concept A-Class’ fancy new digs.
UPDATE 10/15/11:Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes in the building of a concept car, especially one that packs all the technology that comes with a concept like the Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class? Well, you won’t need to wonder anymore because the German automaker has released a video detailing exactly how the whole deal goes down. Check it out by clicking the photo above.
Details on the Concept A-Class after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
Unlike previous A-Class models, the new Concept A-Class is a lot more stylish and aggressive than its predecessors, a direct reflection to the company’s new design language. Inspired from natural elements like the wind and the waves, while also taking cue from aviation engineering, the Concept A-Class is being described as a redefinition of what a premium hot hatchback should be. Aesthetically pleasing with a hint of real-world aggression, the exterior design of the Concept A-Class features strong and defined edges mixed in with free-flowing details reminiscent of the design used in the F800. The Concept A-Class is a defined by a long bonnet that goes seamlessly with the large radiator grille that has been patterned with metallic silver hexagons on black stems with the center of the grille featuring the enormous Mercedes tri-star logo. Meanwhile, the car’s headlights comprise fully of full-LED high-performance lights consisting of 90 optical fibers with their own aluminum sleeves arranged to look like wings inside the headlamp.
Inside the Concept A-Class, the first thing that you’ll notice is the clean dashboard that takes the contours of a plane’s wing and dressed in a translucent and stretchable fabric lining. Keeping up with the aviation theme, the car’s air vents also takes in the shape of fighter plane with red dials in the instrument cluster taking in the look of a jet engine’s afterburners. Even the Concept A-Class’ center console was designed by Mercedes to simulate the look of a plane’s flight control panel, including the shift lever, which takes the look of a “reverse thrust control”. While there seems to be an overabundant influence from planes, the Concept A-Class still features other notable elements, including a fully integrated smartphone that serves a variety of purposes. All functions directed to the smartphone can be operated using the car’s push control system.
The Concept A-Class is a front-wheel drive model that’s powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine taken from Mercedes’ M270 series. As a result of the transverse design and the direct injection and turbocharging nature of the engine, the Concept A-Class is capable of producing 210 horsepower mated to a dual clutch transmission while also producing minimal emissions and fuel consumption.
No price yet for the car considering its a concept vehicle. While we do expect the production version of the A-Class to come soon, word on how soon it’s going to be is still up for discussion.
If and when the new A-Class hits the market, you can expect it to have a number of competitors, including the Audi A1. Despite being a concept, Mercedes’ idea is to slot the concept right where it can compete with the A1s - or maybe even the S1s - of the world.
The S1, for all intents and purposes, is the more powerful version of the A1. It comes with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that produces an output north of 200 horsepower.
But through all of these comparisons, the Mercedes Concept A-Class remains, by and large, a concept car. So until we see a production version of this baby, any and all comparisons are relatively moot at this point.
New exterior look is amazing
Interior design defined by red lights is hot
The best A-Class concept we’ve seen
Still a concept
Limited powertrain options
Will it be transformed into a production model?