Mercedes-Benz has previewed the look of its next generation of compact cars with the unveiling of the Aesthetics A.
This conceptual sculpture has been created to show the new styling treatment to be adopted by up to eight new models from the German car maker within the next three years, including replacements for today’s A-Class and B-Class as well as successors to the CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and recently facelifted GLA.
Eschewing the heavily sculptured styling treatment and prominent crease lines of today’s models, the next-generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars will adopt a much smoother appearance with largely unadorned surfacing and fuller forms.
The new look is described as a development of Mercedes-Benz’s existing 'Sensual Purity' design lineage and marks the first time it has been applied to models featuring transverse engines.
“Form and body are what remain when creases and lines are reduced to the extreme. We have the courage to apply this purism”, said Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz’s chief design officer. “In combination with sensual surface design, the upcoming generation of the compact class has the potential to herald a new design era.”
Although it doesn’t go quite so far as the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé in the reduction of side feature lines, the new design linage marks a significant departure from the extreme side feature lines of current Mercedes models.
The only line remaining on Mercedes-Benz’s new compact models is one running the full length of the flanks, forming a hard shoulder that has been conceived to stretch the vehicle visually. Despite the change in philosophy, Wagener says the new line-up will continue to reflect a rear-wheel drive optic, despite being offered in front and four-wheel drive guises.
As well as hinting at the form language of surfacing treatment of the new A-class and its siblings, the Aesthetics A sculpture also reveals the so-called Panamericana grille treatment, with its vertical slats, to be adopted by AMG versions of the compact car line-up.
As well as previewing the new styling direction to be taken by Mercedes-Benz’s compact cars, the Aesthetics A also hints at a new four-door saloon model hinted to by company chairman, Dieter Zetsche, at the Detroit motor show earlier this month.
Based around a heavily updated version of Mercedes-Benz’s MFA (modular front architecture) platform, the new A-Class saloon is one of three new compact models to be added to the line-up as a rival to the likes of the Audi A3 Saloon and new BMW 1 Series Saloon.