• Apr 19, 2011
Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class – Click above for high-res image gallery

Fresh off of its unveiling halfway around the world at the Shanghai Motor Show, Daimler graced the squeaky-clean floors of its brand-new flagship showroom, Mercedes-Benz Manhattan, with its striking Concept A-Class.

Nestled in the corner of the 11th Avenue megaplex (five floors and over seven acres of floor space in New York City), the Concept A comes off as surprisingly dynamic for what amounts to a conventional three-door hatchback – and a static one at that (unlike the car shown in China, the New York Auto Show star only has a half-interior). And it's not just unique details like the elaborate pinwork grille (composed of hexagonal silver nubs on blacked-out stems), the windswept headlamps or the waifish side mirrors – the whole package just somehow comes together. We're not sure if we're finally getting more comfortable with the blunt-nosed look that's infiltrating the Three-Pointed-Star's lineup (see: SLS AMG, CLS, etc.), or if it just works particularly well here, but in the metal, the Concept A-Class looks more convincing than we expected from the first batch of press images.

That's good news, because Benz is very serious about making its next production A-Class a world car – including North America. To that end, even in showcar regalia, the Concept A has perfectly feasible mechanicals: a 2.0-liter, 210-horsepower four-cylinder from Daimler's new M270 range driving the front wheels and shifted by a dual-clutch gearbox. It also appears to be more conventional in chassis construction, eschewing the clever (if costly) 'sandwich' architecture and upright profile of the original 1997 model.

When it finally arrives in production form, the next-generation A-Class will no doubt ride on smaller wheels, have a taller greenhouse, and the engine will likely nestle behind a more conventional grille. Even so, Mercedes will still be on to something if it can preserve the appeal of the Concept A-Class' form factor.




Live photos copyright ©2011 Chris Paukert / AOL


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      S C
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mesmerizing grille design....
      Nowuries
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love this car and the design (always amazed at how polarized car design can be...) and would love for them to retain most of it for production... and I am also dreaming about the AMG version... maybe a twin turbo V6 or 4 banger.... oh yea! That would be a hot hatch!
      nettsu
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think in terms of the nose - this is the most convincing yet. I actually like it. Maybe it's the shape of the headlights. Although of course how watered down the production version ends up will be a different story. But this is a vast improvement over the egg-on-wheels that the previous generation A-Classes have been.
      Jabs Holt
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like ....How Much ?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      ExoPlanet
      • 3 Years Ago
      In other news the 2012 Jeep SRT8 just hit http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/8325/blacksrt8.jpg
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Rick
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree, other than the grill, it looks good. Though it also reminds me of a VW Scirocco.
      Salvatore Seddone
      • 3 Years Ago
      it looks like a fiat.. or an Alfa Romeo... i don't like it!!!
      ExoPlanet
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mercedes is trying to expand with volume. Quickest way? Make expensive Euro versions of Asian best sellers. Toyota Highlander / Mercedes GLK, C-Class / Accord, E-class / Camry....etc. Its only getting more worse and blatant..the new ML is a Lexus RX. Time for Dieter Z to get the boot.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ExoPlanet
        [blocked]
      PLW
      • 3 Years Ago
      Where's the picture of the 4 MB execs pushing this on stage? I guess their slogan, "everything matters", applies to everything but the engine!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      EnzoHonda
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've always maintained that the 5th generation Civic hatchback ('92-'95) was the quintessential 3-door. And now it seems I've finally been proven right as automakers like Ferrari and now MB have all taken the basic shape and created their own beauties. (I'm actually only being somewhat facetious. There is a ton of 5th-gen Civic in this and the FF.)
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