Concept A Sedan breaks cover at Shanghai
Mercedes is back on the offensive at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show after they stunned the compact sedan world with the reveal of the Concept A Sedan. The sleek concept will be the core of the German manufacturer’s next array of compact cars, specifically the next-generation A-Class and A-Class sedan.
Now you may be wondering what makes the A-Class sedan different from the CLA-Class sedan, and the answer is quite simple once understood. The CLA is a four-door coupe, and the A-sedan will be a four-door sedan. Think Audi A7 (Coupe-style) and Audi A6 (full-on-sedan).
The dimensions of the concept are longer than the current A-class hatch, but narrower and taller. In fact, the concept is such a completely new design that the only familiar design features are the headlights from the R50 hypercar and the Panamericana grille, which was first seen on the AMG GTR. The grille is expected to feature on all ‘thoroughbred’ AMG models to distinguish them from the ‘AMG-lite’ models (the likes of the C43 and GLC43) in the coming years.
Mercedes’ Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener told media, “The next generation of our small cars, we can build from scratch. The proportions will be familiar – (Concept A) will still be an A-Class – but we just made it so much better. The car, even though it’s front-wheel drive, has our typical rear-wheel-drive proportions. We can put bigger wheels on the platform, too; we managed to negotiate that with the engineering side. But the next generation will look even sportier, in a very clean style.”
He added, “It will have more functionality inside, too. The aperture to get in and out is improved, rear headroom is improved and you get a bigger boot as well, because the rear overhang is longer – not that you see that, because we’ve camouflaged it nicely.”
Mercedes plans to add 3 new models to their line-up by 2020. Among the 3 new models, we can expect one new model to be the A-class sedan in 2018 alongside the new CLA four-door coupe and the GLA crossover.
Wagener said, “The CLA is a big brand-shaper; we’re seeing 80 per cent of buyers of that car in the US being new customers to Mercedes, which is terrific. It helped a lot to renew the company. But it’s still a four-door coupe so if you want to go into even bigger volume then you need to go for a more conventional three-box sedan, especially for Asia and the US.”