Mercedes Concept A-Class: the first heartbeat of a new generation


Mercedes-Benz is presenting its new star, the Concept A-Class as one of its highlights at the Johannesburg Motor Show (JIMS) in October 2011.

The Concept A-Class is a car that is futuristic: its expressive design symbolises concentrated dynamism.  The technical highlights include a new, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, a dual clutch transmission and a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist.

“The Concept A-Class heralds the imminent arrival of an all-new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars,” says Eckart Mayer, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

“With its expressive design and host of technical innovations, the Concept A-Class – slogan: “The pulse of a new generation” – offers a glimpse of the forthcoming A-Class,” adds Mayer.

“Within the global trend towards compact cars, we see a fast growing demand for premium compact cars.  We believe that by the end of the decade, this market segment will have grown from its current level of 5,8 million vehicles worldwide to around 7,7 million vehicles.  Locally we see this trend taking shape and we will be ready with some exciting products for our prospective customers,” added Mayer.

A new song “Benz” was composed by singer-songwriter Estelle, rapper and producer David Banner and musician Daley.  With modern sounds and new lyrics, they formulate the lifestyle of their generation and the fascination of Mercedes-Benz.

Mayer concludes: “Benz” is a lively piece with a good-mood groove, carried by expressive voices, and will be played for the first time in South Africa at JIMS, and we will have several competitions where participants can win a copy of this exciting song which is bound to become a hit.”

Concept A-Class – the first heartbeat of a new generation

A long bonnet, a low silhouette and slim window areas: the proportions of the Concept A-Class suggest concentrated dynamism. The car’s sporty appearance is given particular depth by the interplay between lines and surfaces. The wind and the waves, as well as aviation engineering, were the sources of inspiration for its designers.

But it is not only visually, but also technologically that the Concept A-Class is ushering in a new compact class era at Mercedes-Benz. This front-wheel drive model is powered by a four-cylinder petrol engine from the new M270 series.

It was designed for transverse installation, and thanks to direct injection and turbo-charging, it offers a high performance potential together with minimal emissions and fuel consumption. The Concept A-Class is equipped with the two-litre variant of the new engine, developing 155 kW. This BlueEFFICIENCY unit is combined with the new Mercedes-Benz dual clutch transmission.

As a “world first” in the compact class, the concept car features a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist, which lowers the risk of rear-end collisions. This assistance system, Collision Prevention Assist, gives a visual and acoustic warning to a possibly inattentive driver, and prepares Brake Assist for an absolutely precise braking response. This is initiated as soon as the driver emphatically operates the brake pedal.

Defined edges and a free interplay with the body surfaces
The exterior design of the Concept A-Class features the combination of defined edges and free interplay with the body surfaces the Mercedes-Benz first showed in the F 800 Style. The side view is structured by three prominent lines: the front structural edge above the front wing forms a dropping line, while the prominent shoulder muscle above the rear axle underlines the car’s coupé-like character. A further line extends upwards from the rear wheel arch in a sweeping curve.

The front end of the Concept A-Class is a real eye-catcher. The brand logo appears to be surrounded by a starry sky. Where there are usually apertures or louvres, the radiator grille consists of numerous metallic silver “dots” on black stems. This theme is reflected in the design of the wheels.

A very special effect is created by the lights of the Concept A-Class, as the innovative full-LED high-performance headlamps repeat the starry sky motif with numerous lighting points. The daytime running lamps consist of 90 optical fibres with aluminium sleeves, and they are arranged in a wing-shape within the headlamp.

In the interior of the Concept A-Class, the eye is immediately drawn to the dashboard, which has the shape of an aircraft wing and a translucent, stretchable textile lining. This enables the bionic, cellular structure of the component to remain visible.
The shape of the air vents in the dashboard is reminiscent of a jet aircraft engine. The prominent displays in the instrument cluster are in red. Their appearance is inspired by the afterburner of a jet engine. The central control unit is designed as a modern flight panel, with the shift lever taking the form of a “reverse thrust control”.

A smart-phone is fully integrated into the operating concept of the Concept
A-Class. All the applications, services and features of a digital lifestyle can therefore be operated via COMAND Online. The visual presentation of the display screen elements is unique and revolutionary. Dynamically varied glass elements are illuminated by magenta-coloured light to form three-dimensionally arranged navigation levels.