Mercedes looks set to ditch the top-heavy box-shape of the current A-class in favour of this stylish, premium, low-silhouette design, which will dip a toe into the waters currently dominated by the VW Golf and Audi A3.
What do I need to know about the Mercedes-Benz Concept A-class?
This Concept A-class was first revealed by Mercedes-Benz simultaneously at the 2011 Shanghai and New York motor shows in April. It’s a conventional front-wheel drive hatchback looking to offer a premium alternative to cars like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
As with the CLS concept showcased at the Beijing Motor Show in 2010, the Concept A-class is a 'shooting brake' design featuring styling cues taken from Mercedes' F800 Style Concept, revealed at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
The three-door Concept A-class has a profile dominated by two clear lines to enhance the coupe-like looks, and points towards a more conventional, sporting design compared to the ultra-practical A-class of the moment. From the side profile, it is very like the Volkswagen Scirocco.
The sleek design is a drastic change from the current Mercedes A-class
The flat front-end will bring the A-class in line with other recently facellifted Mercedes’, and the incorporation of LED lights and a ‘starry sky’ grille made from metallic hexagons on black stems further augment the more aggressive styling up front.
On the inside, the design has been heavily influence by aircraft, with what Mercedes is calling a ‘modern flight panel’ centre console and vents that look like jet engines.
It also features some nice technology additions, including a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive braking assist, as used in the current Mercedes-Benz CLS. And there’s a full smartphone integration system, which allows for apps to be used.
So when is it being released? We’re predicting early 2012 as a five-door hatchback. In keeping with the premium focus of the concept, the production car is expected to retail from around the £20k mark (a price rise of a few thousand pounds over the outgoing A-class).