Mercedes-Benz can be credited with inventing several niches in the auto market recently, most notably with the CLS and CLA four-door coupes (and their Shooting Brake/wagon variants). However, the German firm fell behind the competition in the smaller sedan market. While Audi has been selling the A3 Sedan since 2013 and BMW recently introduced the 1 Series Sedan in China, Stuttgart has yet to launch a similar offering. But, this will end soon and the Concept A Sedan that Mercedes unveiled at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show proves that a four-door smaller than the CLA is in the works.
As you might have already guessed from the name, the Concept A Sedan previews a sedan version of the familiar A-Class. However, the production model won’t arrive until the fourth-generation hatchback is launched, which should happen in a couple of years. Although Mercedes-Benz didn’t actually confirm the A-Class sedan, the concept is described as “an outlook of the next generation of compact vehicles and a potential new body type.” Take this statement and the fact that both Audi, and BMW have cars in this segment, and the A-Class sedan is pretty certain to happen.
As with all concepts, the Concept A Sedan is rather futuristic compared to the current-generation A-Class. While the front bumper and grille are very familiar, the styling is decidedly sportier and has an AMG-GT vibe to it. In the company’s own words, the concept “shows that the time of creases is over” and is “the next milestone of ’Sensual Purity’ and has the potential to introduce a new design era.”
All told, the show car could very well preview the design of the upcoming A-Class hatchback before finding its way onto the production sedan. On the other hand, I wouldn’t bet on them being as aggressive as the concept. I also don’t expect the UV-treated headlamps, which “glow” in different colors depending on light, to become a production feature.
However, Mercedes gives us a few hints as to how large this compact sedan will be. At 179.9 inches long and 73.6 inches wide, it’s almost 11 inches longer and 3.5 inches wider than the current A-Class sedan. Compared to the CLA, it’s only three inches shorter, but 3.5 inches wider. As expected, it slots right below the CLA, but the production model will probably be a bit shorter than the concept. On the other hand, a similar length could work as the CLA is marketed as a four-door coupe, while the A-Class sedan will be sold as a conventional four-door.
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