Is this car the future direction for Mercedes?

  • Another implementation of ‘sensual purity’
  • “It’s the end for the time of creases’
  • Special UV paint ‘glows in various colours’
MERCEDS BANKS ON COMPACTS: Image: Mercedes-Benz
MERCEDES BANKS ON COMPACTS: The Concept A sedan shows Mercedes is thinking smaller when it comes to future sales.  Image: Mercedes-Benz

STUTTGART, Germany / Shanghai, China – For now it’s just a gaze into a crystal ball but the Mercedes Concept A sedan on view at the 2017 Shanghai auto show could well be the shape of German compact cars to come.

The sculpted show car in the pictures is described by Mercedes as “purist, surface-focused design featuring reduced lines and gaps – hot and cool at the same time”. These words are PR-chosen and don’t really mean much to The Corner but the team from Stuttgart adds:

“The sculpture of the upcoming compact-class generation marks the dawn of an even more rigorous implementation of the design idiom of ‘sensual purity.” Which also tells us little, though Gorden Wagener, Daimler AG’s chief design officer enlarges:

MERCEDS BANKS ON COMPACTS: Image: Mercedes-Benz
MERCEDES BANKS ON COMPACTS: …and a fancy set of headlights which change colour according to the ambient lighting. Image: Mercedes-Benz

“The time of creases is over. With its perfect proportions and a sensual (there that word is again!) treatment of surfaces with reduced lines, it’s the next milestone of Sensual (and again!) Purity and has the potential to introduce a new design era.”

‘COMPACTS VITAL FOR SALES’

Just as, indeed, Hyundai did some years ago with the introduction of double creases along the sides of its products, rapidly copied by other brands…

The automaker also says in a media release sent to The Corner that the current compact vehicle generation is “crucially contributing to Mercedes-Benz’s most successful and rejuvenated appearance yet to make 2016 the sixth consecutive year of (sales) records”.

More than two-million compact units, Mercedes says, since 2012.
Innovative driving assistance systems, connectivity, driving pleasure and model variety were also said to be crucial for the A- and B-Class, CLA and CLA Shooting Brake and SUV crossover GLA.

THREE-BOX, FOUR DOOR

Britta Seeger, a member of the Daimler AG management board responsible for Mercedes marketing and sales, added: “We’re extremely confident that the planned expansion will lead to a continuation of the success story.”

Stuttgart calls the Concept A sedan “a study of a compact premium sedan”. Its shell, reminiscent of a coupe but actually a “three-box” four-door, is however just short of 4.6m long, a conventional 1.88m wide and 1.46m tall with short front/rear overhangs.

READ MORE Mercedes features on Carman’s Corner

“Additional sedan characteristics,” Mercedes adds, “are the relatively vertical C pillars, larger side windows and the higher beltline.”

As is the style these days, the designers have included 20″, spoked, alloy-rimmed wheels – but will such large ones make it to production? They are described as “featuring a reduced arch dimension to emphasise the size of the wheels which radiate technical precision with their sporty aerowheel look and structured surface between the spokes”.

MERCEDS BANKS ON COMPACTS: Image: Mercedes-Benz
MERCEDES BANKS ON COMPACTS: A major design point of the Concept A turns on something big – a huge (for a compact car) 20″ wheel/tyre combination. Image: Mercedes-Benz

The door releases are body-flush, bonnet power domes are included, and Mercedes believes the “large, lower air inlet featuring a diamond grid structure and a striking trim strip in dark chrome” creates the most eye-catching feature.

The grid structure in the headlights has been coated with a UV paint so they “glow” in various colours according to the ambient light. Daytime running lights are also present.

RESTYLING EXTENDS RIGHT TO THE BACK

“The striking tail-light image,” Mercedes adds, “has also been designed as a structural sculpture and, in line with the evolved design philosophy, the lines and gaps at the rear have been reduced.”

Exhaust deflectors are finished in dark chrome; the show car has dark privacy glass and a glass roof. As usual for most carmakers, the glass is described as “panoramic”.

MERCEDS BANKS ON COMPACTS: Image: Mercedes-Benz
MERCEDES BANKS ON COMPACTS: Creases are out, smooth ‘sensuous’ line are in for the next generation of Mercedes.  Image: Mercedes-Benz
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