While the S-Class update was the reality star of Mercedes-Benz's Shanghai Motor Show effort, the fantasy act was stolen by this concept, which previews the first of many new products to come off Benz's small car MFA2 architecture. The Concept A Sedan will morph into a production car off the same underbody structure as the replacements for the A- and B-Class, the GLA, the CLA and more, including a small coupe and a convertible. As a concept car, it's only 2.76 inches shorter than the current production CLA, though it's 3.66 inches wider and 1.18 inches lower at the roofline.
"Our Concept A Sedan shows that the time of creases is over," said Gorden Wagener, Daimler (parent of Mercedes) chief design officer. "With its perfect proportions and a sensual treatment of surfaces with reduced lines, it is the next milestone of Sensual Purity and has the potential to introduce a new design era."
It's more of a three-box sedan than the CLA, too, with a vertical treatment of its C-pillar demonstrating that the concept is not trying to cross the line between coupe and sedan. Both overhangs are short, but the rear one is the key difference in the overall lengths of the old and the new small sedans.
The concept has a higher beltline, and its design is highlighted by the adoption of AMG's Panamericana grille, with its aggressive vertical chromed bars and a pair of powerdomes on the hood.
The grid structures of the headlights are coated with ultraviolet paint, which glows in different colors depending on the light around them. During the day the running lights are white. The rear has a diffuser look applied to it by simply painting the bottom half of the bumper. The concept also gets dark privacy films for the windows and a full-length panoramic glass roof. Riding on 20-inch alloy wheels, the Concept A Sedan's door mirrors are a throwback by coming out of the doors themselves, rather than the A-pillar corners of the front windows.
Much of Mercedes' recent growth has come on the back of the compact cars, which have fattened Benz's global sales curve by more than two million cars since 2012.