Take a look at the stunning new hatch aiming for an ‘A’ grade in the compact premium class! This is the Concept A-Class from Mercedes – a Volkswagen Golf-sized three-door that will reinvent the A-Class when it goes on sale next year.
Set to make its debut at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month, it could almost be a rival to VW’s Scirocco, it looks so sporty.
Inspiration comes from the F800 Style concept, with sharp creases, plus short overhangs front and rear. The wide grille is dominated by the three-pointed star badge, which is made more eye-catching by metallic hexagons radiating out from its edges.
The alloys repeat this effect, as do the wing-shaped LED lights. They get daytime running lamps incorporating 90 optical fibres with aluminium sleeves.
Under the skin lies a new front-wheel-drive platform and a 207bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder BlueEFFICIENCY petrol engine. It will be hooked up to a dual-clutch transmission. Although there are no official figures, expect a 0-60mph time of less than seven seconds, a 150mph top speed, plus 45mpg economy and 150g/km of CO2.
There’s no shortage of safety technology, either, including a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist. This lowers the risk of rear-end smashes, giving a visual and acoustic warning to the driver, then preparing the Brake Assist system to operate so the driver can make an emergency stop.
The luxurious but minimalist four-seat cabin has an integrated smartphone, which controls all the functions via a rotary dial on the centre console. A digital display keeps the driver informed.
When the showroom model arrives in 2012, cabin quality is expected to be better than the Golf’s – and prices will be higher. The A-Class will be one of four key models to come from Mercedes’ latest architecture, including a new version of the B-Class MPV.