First image of Mercedes-Benz A-Class concept car released

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 15, 2011

The first images of the concept car that will preview the next generation A-Class from Mercedes Benz have been revealed. Sometime ago, the carmaker had announced that the A- and B-Class will become the backbone of a future strategy intended to attract younger buyers to the brand. The A-Class concept car is slated to be seen at the Shanghai Auto Show in April.

The A-Class will have more aggressive lines and will have a design that is aimed to attract the youth.

It has a compact package, wrapped in lines that might have already been seen on the F800 concept. Mercedes-Benz has yet to announce what will power the A-Class but back when the carmaker had announced its new strategy for the future, it said that the two small models will carry both existing internal combustion engines and the hydrogen-based electric drive.

It’s likely that the fuel cell electric drive train, which is available in three B-Klasse models, will also make it into the A-Class’ future lineup. Some hybrid versions of the ICE-engines are also expected.

A distinct characteristic of the new design language of Mercedes-Benz is the dramatic interaction of lines and surfaces, which is referred to by its designers as a "clean" concept. Light modulation brought about by concave and convex surfaces creates a distinctive form. Clear edges and surfaces that interact was first used in the F800 Style. Mercedes-Benz continues this theme emphatically with its A-Class Concept.

Three prominent lines provide structure to the side view. One is the front structural edge, which forms a line dropping towards the rear. The coupé-like car also has a prominent shoulder muscle found at the rear axis. Another line can be found at the front of the rear wheel’s arch. It extends upwards in a sweeping curve. These lines add depth and vitality to the car’s side profile. Its door handles are buried into the doors but then at the touch of a button, they emerge electrically.

The exterior mirrors have a rare, wing-like shape, which is reminiscent of lightness and flow. The open side skirt is also a prominent feature and it produces an attractive light-and-shadow effect. Its sizable 20-inch wheels, similar to a turbine rotor, reinforce the impression that the wind shaped the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Concept.

The Mercedes-Benz logo located on the A-Class Concept’s front end appears to have a starry sky background making it a real eye-catcher. Instead of the typical louvers and apertures, "dots" in metallic silver placed on black stems make up the radiator grille. The wheels are also designed to reflect this theme.

Again, the harmonious interplay of convex and concave surfaces along with pronounced edges reinforces the power and athleticism conveyed by the visually broad rear end. The lines of the shoulders are continued by the tail light clusters towards the rear. This puts emphasis on the car's width in its horizontal orientation. Efficiency is improved by the aerodynamic spoiler lip found in the taillights while road holding is aided by the diffuser’s downforce.

Aviation engineering inspired interiors

The Mercedes A-Class Concept boasts of interiors that are out of this world. For one, light floods the interior from the more than ample panoramic roof. These uncommon features take inspiration from aircraft engineering and reflect the "Mercedes-Benz Aesthetics No. 2" ideas for interior sculpture. Some component groups were minimized, including the dashboard and centre console, which are just sweeped aluminium structures. As a result, the design creates a transparent, bionic effect.

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