Mercedes-Benz aims to take on the Scirocco, A3 Cabrio with new A-Class

Article by Christian A., on February 28, 2012

Mercedes-Benz is considering projects to build new small car models such as a sporty three-door hatchback variant of the new A-class, which is intended to challenge the Volkswagen Scirocco and the Audi A3 cabriolet with a fabric roof that has long been mooted. Sources said that these aren’t meant to be introduced before the end of 2015.

The insider said that if the company does approve them to enter production, they would probably be placed in the subsequent lineup as soon as it establishes the new small car platform and boosts production at its plant in Hungary. At the Shanghai motor show last year, Mercedes-Benz previewed the three-door A-class with the Vision A concept.

It gets a rakish roofline that’s coupé-like. It also features a narrow glasshouse. In addition, Mercedes-Benz is considering a long-wheelbase B-class. Its design has a third row of seats for a total of seven in all.

This represents the company’s premium entry into the thriving mini-MPV segment. The B-class Plus isn’t likely to be presented before 2015, similar to the three-door A-class and A-class cabriolet.

Looking at the exterior of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, there is no doubt that the design is highlighted by how tightly drawn the surfaces are and with the way the edges are more defined. The way the convex surfaces interact with the concave ones result in a distinct play of the light, most especially on the vehicle’s sides. This helps with the already unique look of the A-Class.

This excellent interplay of the design can clearly be seen on the roof given the arcing and tight curve with the smooth surfaces. It also shows that the A-Class does have superior aerodynamics. The roof spoiler has been designed in a manner that easily keeps all of the vehicle’s aerials from view and even gives the roof assembly that structure while adding a sporty feel. Meanwhile the beltline rises to the vehicle’s rear section to give it a more prominent wedge shape.

The profile itself shows that the flowing and smooth lines end in a flat edge. Overall, the side view is made more unique by the crisp lines and how the sculptural side panels have been molded. It is in the side view that the dropping line is made more obvious which slowly dispels to the front section. The front section on the other is still sporty and long and has the usual features associated with the brand.

These mean having the headlamps separate, bearing a V-shape that is more pronounced, and having the radiator grille with the Mercedes star in the middle of it. This star has on each side the usual double slats. Even the extra air intakes placed on its sides are present as well. The way the headlamps have been designed plus how the light functions have been positioned within them form the significant part of the design concept.

Furthermore, the LEDs and the light modules that have been placed behind the cover glass of the headlamp has been configured in a manner to give the indicators and daytime driving lights that well-known flare effect. This effect is composed of the bulb sets used for the indicators, LED modules of the daytime running lamps, and the feature line inside the headlamp.

The flare effect is considered by many as a trademark of the brand and with this the A-Class gets that lively appearance and this define what the new face of the brand is. Mercedes-Benz Head of Design Gorden Wagener shares that the challenge in making the new A-Class was how to utilize the brand’s new dynamic style and put it in a vehicle under the compact class.

Still, he adds, it was a fun project. Compared to the other models in the same segment, the A-Class is the only one that can be considered as progressive, he continues. Wagener went on to say that the character lines, especially those seen on the sides, give the new A-Class that brevity and structure. While the new dynamic style works well on the exterior, he says further, this same style can be immediately observed even with only a quick look inside.

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