Mercedes-Benz has endowed its new A class five-door hatchback with a sportier and more conventional design that may correspond to a desertion of the outgoing model's peculiar one-box styling. Dimension-wise, the new A class is 160mm lower than previous model launched in 1997. Mercedes expects the change in styling to attract more customers in the premium compact segment that is controlled by the Audi A3 and BMW 1 series.
The A class is based on the Mercedes Front Wheel Architecture (MFA) that will eventually underpin five more variants, including the B-class that is currently on the market. Mercedes-Benz is planning to build a coupe-styled small four-door crossover patterned after the CLS, and unconfirmed cabrio.
According to Jorg Prigl, Daimler's vice president of compact cars, components shared between Mercedes vehicles will allow the carmaker to make a profit. He remarked that the A class and the B class share some 80 percent of their components, most of which cannot be seen by customers. The A class features a conventional exterior and a fit-and-finish interior.
It also boasts of an infotainment screen mounted at the center and is not anymore using a wood trim, giving it a touch of modernity. Although the A-class offers a cabin space typical for a premium compact, it offers more legroom than the 1 series, due to the less tunnel incursion on the floor of the rear passenger area. However, visibility on the A class is not so good, due to small rear window and large C pillars.
It also has a boot that is less roomy than those of rival models. Mercedes will offer the new A class in three optional styling packages: Urban, Style and AMG Sport. What is more interesting is that Mercedes-Benz expects to sell lots of A-Class models and 50% of the customers will be new to the brand. Moreover, the German manufacturer expects to increase its sales by 4 million units in the next 10 years, helped by markets such as China and Eastern Europe.