Production version of new Mercedes hatch to stay true to bold Vision A concept
28 April 2011

Mercedes’ Vision A concept is virtually identical to the final production version, expected next year, according to the company’s design director, Gorden Wagener.

“What you see is realistic,” he told Autocar. “Obviously the real thing is a five-door and we will make changes to the window line, headlights and grille, but that’s it.”

See pics of the Mercedes Vision A concept

Wagener also promised that the show car’s rakish roofline would stay virtually the same and said that while some of the concept’s more outlandish interior details would go, the basics — such as the large display screen and ‘jet turbine’ air vents — would remain.

Wagener also promised that build quality would be much improved over the current cars, promising that “the quality of materials and fit and finish will be above the current C-class”.

The A-class is likely to be the first production car to have the ability to download apps, so that buyers can upgrade infotainment technology during their ownership of the car.

Read our review of the new Mercedes A-class

The Vision A show car is powered by a 210bhp, four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with a new dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox. Merc technical boss Thomas Weber promised that all of the A-class’s petrol powerplants would be turbos from the new family of transverse engines, of differing capacities. The dual-clutch ’box will be an optional extra, with a manual as standard. There will be no conventional automatic gearbox option, and stop-start will be standard on all variants.

Weber also promised a hot AMG version, as previously revealed in Autocar. It’s likely to be powered by a more powerful version of the four-cylinder turbo and will probably be four-wheel drive, although Weber conceded that this was still being decided as it adds another 60kg to the weight.

Chas Hallett

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