It’s not a huge departure from the current CLA-Class, which isn’t a bad thing.
A refreshed-for-2018 S-Class isn’t the only thing Mercedes-Benz took to the Auto Shangahi 2017. The manufacturer also debuted its Concept A Sedan (saloon), giving the motoring world a potential look into the future for entry-level shoppers seeking a path to Mercedes ownership.
“Our Concept A Sedan shows that the time of creases is over,” said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG in a press release. “With its perfect proportions and a sensual treatment of surfaces with reduced lines, it is the next milestone of ‘Sensual Purity’ and has the potential to introduce a new design era."
The Concept A saloon takes a cautious-yet-attractive approach to the compact luxury segment. Short overhangs front and rear are complimented with large wheel arches that have the slightest of flair to accommodate 20-inch wheels. Despite Wagener’s claim to the contrary, the concept does showcase some angular tendencies for both the front and rear lamps. The high belt line and arching roof are satisfyingly Mercedes, but it’s not much of a stretch to see shades of a Mazda6 in the drooping front clip.
Mercedes offers no mention of potential engines or powertrain combinations. The current CLA-class relies on a modest 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder generating 122 horsepower for the front wheels. 4Matic all-wheel drive is optional, and of course there’s the AMG edition with 375 horsepower.
The CLA, while not the most thrilling of Mercs, has nevertheless been a strong seller for the brand, particularly in the U.S. Since its launch, it's frequently been one of the brand's best-selling cars. Its replacement is due in 2018: whether it will continue with the CLA name or adopt A-Class Saloon branding remains to be seen.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz Concept A Sedan
Mercedes-Benz Concept A Sedan
Stuttgart/Shanghai. With the Concept A Sedan at the Shanghai Auto Show,
Mercedes-Benz is providing an outlook of the next generation of compact vehicles
and a potential new body type.
The Concept A Sedan show car specifies the evolved Mercedes-Benz design language.
Thanks to its purist, surface-focused design featuring reduced lines and gaps, the show
car is hot and cool at the same time. The “Aesthetics A” sculpture already demonstrated
that the upcoming compact class generation marks the dawn of an even more rigorous
implementation of the design idiom of “sensual purity.”
“Our Concept A Sedan shows that the time of creases is over,” says Gorden Wagener,
Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. “With its perfect proportions and a sensual treatment
of surfaces with reduced lines, it is the next milestone of ‘Sensual Purity’ and has the
potential to introduce a new design era."
The current compact vehicle generation is contributing to Mercedes-Benz's most
successful and rejuvenated model lineup ever and helped to make 2016 the sixth year of
record sales in succession. More than two million Mercedes-Benz compact vehicles
have been sold around the globe since 2012. In addition to the contemporary design
language, innovative assistance systems, connectivity and driving pleasure, model
variety is a crucial factor for success: with the A and B-Class, CLA and CLA Shooting
Brake, as well as the SUV crossover GLA, five differently positioned variants are available
globally (B-Class, CLA and GLA variants available in the U.S. market).
“Their success shows that our customers are absolutely delighted with the current
generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars,” says Britta Seeger, member of the Board
of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales.
“We are therefore extremely confident that the planned expansion will lead to a
continuation of this success story.”
The Concept A Sedan: study of a compact premium sedan
The Concept A Sedan (length/width/height: 179.9”/73.6”/57.6”) has been designed
with the proportions of a dynamic, coupe-like and simultaneously compact, premium
This aim is emphasized by the traditional three-box design featuring short overhangs,
especially at the rear, as well as a slim greenhouse that has been offset towards the
rear. Additional sedan characteristics are the relatively vertical C-pillar, larger side
windows and higher beltline.
The muscular wheel arch design featuring a reduced arch dimension emphasizes the
exclusive 20-inch wheels. The light alloy wheels radiate technical precision with their
sporty look that features a structured surface between the spokes. The door handles of
the show car are flush with the body, while the outside mirrors, are positioned on the
Concept A Sedan’s beltlines.
The striking front expresses self-confidence: this is highlighted by the deep Panamericana grille tilted towards the front, featuring vertical chrome inserts and a star in the center, as well as the stretched hood with Powerdomes. The large, lower air inlet featuring a diamond grid structure and a striking trim strip in dark chrome is also amongst the most eye-catching features.
The unique headlamps are a unique feature of the brand and the striking grid structure
on the inside of the headlamp guarantees a confident, easy-to-recognize look. The
structural sculpture that has been broken down in detail represents a technically based
counterpole to the sensual exterior – “stimulating contrast” is one of the six guiding
principles of Mercedes-Benz design. The grid structure in the lamps has been coated
with a UV paint and it is exposed to ultraviolet light. As a result, the headlamps "glow" in
different colors, depending on the light medium – the daytime running lamps, for
instance, are white.
This unique lighting technology is also used at the rear: The striking taillamps have been
designed as structural sculptures. In line with the evolved design philosophy, the lines
and gaps at the rear have been reduced. As a contrast to the paintwork, the rear bumper
features a diffuser-look lower part trimmed in black with a chrome strip that emphasizes
the car’s width, underscoring the car's premium appeal. The integrated exhaust
deflectors are finished in dark chrome.
Additional features of the roadworthy show car are dark tinted windows all-round as well as a large, panoramic glass roof.