MONTVALE, NJ - The Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class will make its debut at the 2011 New York and Shanghai Auto Shows later this month. Technical highlights include a new turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine, a dual clutch transmission, and a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist.
Mercedes said the Concept A-Class previews a new compact class era at Mercedes-Benz. This front-wheel drive model is powered by a four-cylinder gasoline engine from the new M270 series. It was designed for transverse installation and thanks to direct injection and turbocharging, offers high performance together with minimal emissions and fuel consumption, according to the company. The Concept A-Class is equipped with the two-liter variant of the new engine, capable of producing 210 hp. This BlueEFFICIENCY engine is mated to 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 gives a visual and acoustic warning to an inattentive driver and prepares Brake Assist for a precise braking response. Braking is initiated when the driver forcefully operates the brake pedal.
Mercedes said the design of the Concept-A is inspired by the style showed in the company’s F800. The side view is structured with three prominent lines: the front structural edge above the front fender forms a dropping line, while the prominent shoulder muscle above the rear axle underlines the car's coupe-like character. A further line extends upwards from the rear wheel arch in a sweeping curve.
The front end of the Concept A-Class shows the Mercedes-Benz star logo surrounded by a starry sky. Where there are usually openings or louvers, the radiator grille consists of numerous metallic silver hexagons on black stems. This theme is reflected in the design of the wheels. The headlights of the Concept A-Class continue this design element with full-LED high-performance headlamps repeating the starry sky motif with numerous light points. The daytime running lamps consist of 90 optical fibers with aluminum sleeves which are arranged in a wing-shape within the headlamp.
In the interior, the dashboard has the shape of an aircraft wing and a translucent, stretchable fabric lining. The prominent dials in the instrument cluster are in red. The center console’s design is inspired by a modern flight control panel, with the shift lever designed as a "reverse thrust control," the automaker stated.
A smartphone is fully integrated into the Concept A-Class. All functions are shown in the display as applications, and can be operated using the rotary/push control, the company stated.