First Look: Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class

Mercedes-Benz has been going all-out with the energetic celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the car. To make sure that it was not the only one having fun, the automaker debuted its Concept A-Class with a dancing and singing flash mob.

Singing a rendition of the classic Janis Joplin song, “Mercedes-Benz,” the dancers made their ways up from the audience to the Concept A-Class, and pulled off the sheet to reveal the car. The concept previews what the next-generation Mercedes A-Class will look like when it goes on sale next year. It is based on the new Mercedes Front Architecture (MFA) platform that will underpin all forthcoming front-wheel drive cars coming from the three-pointed star.

It’s powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s turbocharged and direct-injected, producing 210 horsepower. Power travels through a dual-clutch transmission to the front wheels. In an effort to make the “Mercedes of small cars,” the A-Class will come standard with collision prevention assistance, which will automatically brake the car if it senses an impending accident.

The look is an evolution of the F800 Style concept from the 2010 Geneva Motor Show but more fluidic, with a character line drawing your eye from nose to tail. The rear end is pert and rounded; the front fascia is a little too close to a gaping fish mouth to our eyes.

Most importantly for us, the next A-Class will not be a Euro-only affair, as it has been with the past two generations. Four new models will come from the MFA platform — including the A-Class — and will be sold in the U.S. market.

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