The Aesthetics A ‘sculpture’ revealed back in January gave more than a few clues as to the design direction for the next generation of Mercedes-Benz’s compact cars, and certainly previewed the new, more minimalist take on surfacing now seen on the Concept A Sedan.
This is the latest development of the ‘Sensual Purity’ design language, with a reduction in crease lines; and as on the ‘sculpture’, the Sedan’s strong shoulder-line gives a sense of elongation along the three-box outline. The body mass is simplified into angled surfaces emphasising the proportions, enhanced by contouring.
The Concept A Sedan also uses the so-called ‘Panamericana’ grille as seen on the ‘sculpture’, featuring vertical slats breaking up the deep, wide-mouthed area. The grille is tilted forwards for further elongation of the bonnet, complementing the forward-set greenhouse and short, purposeful-looking overhangs for sporting effect. The front end is made more striking still by the touch of complexity in the sharply-detailed headlights, and a distinct lighting signature has been developed for the neat but conventional rear, too.
“We're really excited about this car. It's a very important sector for us. We think it's moved the design on a long way," chief design office Gorden Wagener told us prior to the unveiling.
An interesting note on the importance of this car to Mercedes-Benz: in a time when SUVs and crossovers appear to dominate the market, the brand’s compact car family – A- or B-Class, GLA, CLA and CLA Shooting Brake - accounted for some 635,000 sales last year, the company says. Compact sedans in particular are key models for the Chinese car market, too.