Standing as much as 160 millimetres lower on the road than the preceding model, Mercedes-Benz new A-Class communicates design and dynamism at the very first glance. This radical form language, presented and enthusiastically acclaimed around the world with the Concept A-CLASS, was consistently implemented in the series production car.
According to the company, the appearance of the new A-Class reflects this new Mercedes-Benz design strategy. The result is what is known as a two-box design with a distinct character of its own, a sporty emotive exterior and an exceptionally high-quality feel to the interior.
Mercedes-Benz said that with the new A-Class, the company is opening up a new chapter in the compact segment: markedly emotive in design, with powerful engines ranging from 80 kW (109 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), extremely efficient with emissions from just 98 g of CO2/km and a best-in-class drag coefficient of 0.27.
“Translating the new dynamic style of Mercedes-Benz into the compact class was a challenge that was great fun to tackle”, said Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. “No other car in this segment is as progressive as the A-Class. Absolutely typical for Mercedes is the sculptural shape of the A‑Class. The character lines, in particular on its sides, lend the A-Class structure and terseness. The new dynamic style is perceptible at first glance in the interior as well.”
At the same time the company stressed that the new model underlines that for Mercedes-Benz, safety is not a question of price – the standard specification includes, amongst other things, the radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system. Prices in Germany start at €23,978.50 (incl. 19% VAT) for the A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY.
“Mercedes-Benz is becoming the most dynamic premium brand in the world. As part of this development, the A-Class represents an important milestone. The A-Class is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development, it’s not often you get the chance to start with a clean sheet of paper. Our engineers have made the very most of that opportunity”, according to Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Defined edges and tautly drawn surfaces mark out the exterior design of the new A-Class. The constant interplay between concave and convex surfaces creates a characteristic play of light, particularly along the sides of the car, which contributes to its unique appearance.
Typical features of the long, sporty front are its pronounced V-shape, the separate headlamps, the radiator grille with central Mercedes star and double slats to either side of the star, as well as the additional air intakes on the sides. The “dropping line” apparent in the side profile dissipates towards the vehicle’s front end. The design of the headlamps, together with the configuration of the light functions within them, are key elements of the design concept. The light modules and LEDs behind the headlamp cover glass have been arranged in such a way as to create the characteristic “flare effect” for the daytime driving lights and indicators.
The interplay of dynamic design and excellent aerodynamics is nowhere more apparent than in the roof, with its smooth surfaces and taut, arcing curve. The silhouette reveals smooth, flowing lines finishing in a flat edge. The roof spoiler, which conveniently hides all the aerials, provides an extra sporty touch and gives structure to the roof assembly.
The broad emphasis of the tail end is revealed in an interplay of convex-concave surfaces and edges. The tail lights continue the line of the muscular shoulders back towards the rear, while their horizontal orientation emphasises the car’s powerful width. The light functions are provided optionally by fibre-optic cables and LED modules. Here, too, the interaction between design and aerodynamics is very clear: the surface finish of the tail lights is not only an interesting design feature, but also improves the airflow around the vehicle thanks to defined airflow break-away edges in the rear section.
Interior: five-seater model with a high-value impression
The interior of the A-Class represents a big step forward in terms of quality – both in the materials used and in the consistency of the design. Both objectives have been achieved with the help of a specific design idiom and through the various combination options possible with the high-quality materials selected. All trim elements have been given an electroplated finish, resulting in real metal surfaces with “cool touch” effect. The work has been executed with considerable care and attention to detail, so that they appear to have been moulded in one piece.
The instrument panel incorporates five round vents. The outer rings of the round vents have a high-quality electroplated finish. The airflow direction is governed by an insert that is reminiscent of an aircraft turbine and reveals a meticulous attention to detail. This too has an electroplated finish in silver-chrome. The free-standing display screen features a black piano-lacquer-look front panel and a flush-fitting silver frame.
The instrument cluster comprises two large round instruments, each with a small dial set within it. When at rest, the dial needles stand at 6 o’clock. The pointer inlays are in white, although with the sportier design and equipment lines such as Urban and AMG Sport they are in red. The dials on the sporty equipment lines and packages are silver with a chequered flag effect. The 3-spoke steering wheel comes with 12 function buttons and an electroplated bezel.
The new A-Class is a sporty hatchback model with a low centre of gravity is reflected in its dimensions: measuring 4292 x 1780 x 1433 mm (length x width x height), it hugs the road. Compared with its predecessor, which followed a different design, the height has been reduced by 160 millimetres.