2017 Shanghai - Concept A Sedan previews the 'small future' ahead of Mercedes-Benz

After years of trailing arch-rival BMW, Mercedes-Benz ended 2016 on a high as the world's best-selling luxury car brand with sales growing in double digits over 2015. While the C- and E-Class sedans continue to be the best-sellers in the lineup, playing no small part in the brand's resurgence has been their foray into compact cars. Spun off the less complex and therefore less expensive Modular Front Architecture (MFA), the A-Class, B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA together accounted for 636,903 unit sales last year, almost a third of the brand's total.

That is why the Concept A Sedan unveiled in Shanghai is a significant reveal for Mercedes-Benz. This is not just your regular concept intended to attract eyeballs and pull people in. This is a sign of things to come. Design cues from the Concept A Sedan would trickle down as is to the next-generation compact cars wearing the three pointed star.

The overall shape and size of the concept is similar to the existing CLA. That can only be a good thing as the CLA is a stunner any which way you look at it. Of course, the odd angles and the multitude of cuts and creases on the sheet metal did polarize opinions to some extent and Mercedes-Benz have acted on that. The Concept A Sedan is rounded, less flashy and sports cleaner surfacing all around. Gone are the cuts and creases in profile for instance replaced by a single character line that runs the full length of the car. The fascia is bolder and gets the 'Panamericana' grille from AMG underlined by a wider single-piece air dam. The latter has now become a Merc family trait. The rear is less droopy and looks chic. 

With the wheels pushed off to the corners and the roof not dropping as dramatically as in the CLA, the Concept A Sedan's production version is expected to get a more spacious and practical cabin. That's a good thing too as the current crop of compact cars from Mercedes-Benz aren't known for the passenger and luggage space on offer.

This is still a concept and there has to be certain elements that just won't make it to production. In this case, it's the grid-shaped structures in the headlights that are coated with ultraviolet paint and glows in different colours depending on the ambient light. The full-length panoramic glass roof, flush-fitted door handles and those 20-inch alloy wheels aren't expected to trickle down to the production model either. 

All in all, the Concept A Sedan previews a cleaner, sleeker line up of small cars from Mercedes-Benz. Moreover, the model range is expected to expand as well and that's not good news if you are BMW and Audi.

No comments:

Post a Comment