We reported here that Mercedes Benz India was considering bringing their smaller cars to India. If the Concept A-Class unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show is anything to go by, then the 2012 A-Class definitely should make the Mercedes stable in India a lot more glamorous.
As Mercedes Benz puts it, the interplay of complex concave and convex surfaces, best observed in profile, formed by two very prominent crease lines expresses the unrestrained dynamism of the Concept A Class. Although a mini MPV in its previous iterations worldwide, the 2012 A Class seems to have walked a different path, with rumours of the AMG mill packing close to 270bhp. Not that the Concept A Class is any less utilitarian. It seats four, has decent space in the boot and is supposed to be out in 3 and 5 door versions, and it manages to do everything in style.
We have no clue why one too many manufacturers are trying to draw inspiration from the universe, all we know is, after the Volvo Concept Universe, Mercedes Benz treads the same path, explaining that the ‘dot’ structure radiator grille, apart from making its own ‘three-dimensional, expressive statement’ also puts the three point logo at the centre of its own universe. We have to say, Mercedes’ concept with the hexagonal cross section ‘dots’ symbolize the non-existent boundaries of the Universe a tad better than the layered rectangular shapes of the Volvo.
Mercedes Benz seems to have put in serious effort into designing the headlights. All that can be done with LEDs seems to have been done by other marquees, so Mercedes decided to bring in optical fibres to grab our attention. We’ll have to wait until Auto-Expo 2012 to witness the effect the optical fibres arranged in a wing shaped enclosure with aluminium sleeves have on our extremely enthusiastic Pragati Maidan auto enthusiasts.
For once, there seems to be no necessity to use the often repeated ‘the pictures do not do justice to the car’ line. The Concept A-Class bleeds style and character and definitely is bound to be on wishlists. That does beg the questions, what about previous owners most of whom wanted an understated, functional and reliable car to commute? Will they take to the radical change in the styling?
The interiors draw inspiration from aeronautical elements, and uses ‘bionic’ structure and high tech materials. The dashboard, Mercedes claims is inspired by aircraft wings. We are having a hard time spotting the aircraft wing contours in the dashboard, but we do think that the instrument pods might be inspired by jet turbines mounted under the wings. The Concept A Class with its panoramic sun roof boasts of excellent natural lighting in addition to the artificial lighting that seems to be growing wilder and wilder with each concept. Mercedes claims you can Facebook and Tweet and more using the ‘multimedia’ instrument, but we’d advise you that status messages about what you had for lunch can wait until you’re home. How important are in-car communication devices, in today’s world of extremely competent smartphones and tablets, is something we’ll have to wait and see.