Mercedes is turning the new 2012 A-class into a high-quality, sporty mainstream rival for forthcoming BMW 1-series and Audi A3 replacements, leaving the next-gen B-class to fill the role of the small MPV.
The biggest change for the production Mercedes A-class over the three-door Vision A concept is the addition of rear doors. The roadgoing model retains the show car’s narrow glasshouse and sharply raked front windscreen and A-pillars. The roofline is not as steeply angled as the near-coupé-like slant of the concept’s, although it is a world apart from the boxy styling of the previous two A-class models.
At the Shanghai show, Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagener described the Vision A concept as “realistic” next to the production car. “Obviously, the real thing is a five-door,” he said. “We will make changes to the window line, headlights and grille, but that’s it.”