Mercedes will show a more sporty and aggressively styled A-Class concept at the New York International Auto Show later this month. The carmaker says it used wind, waves, and aviation engineering as the design inspiration for what will likely be the next generation A-Class.
Images of the luxury compact show a complete design overhaul compared with the existing A-Class hatchbacks tooling around Europe. Sharp lines flow throughout the exterior, accentuating the vehicle's deep curves and edges. Featuring an elongated hood and redesigned headlamps, grill and fenders, the new body lines and structure almost tricks the viewer into thinking the hatchback is a coupe.
Under the hood is more power than you'd normally find in a compact car. Mercedes outfitted the A-Class concept with a 210-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The BlueEfficiency engine is paired with the carmaker's new dual-clutch transmission.
Mercedes expresses the aeronautical theme more strongly in the interior. Ambient lighting illuminates the instrument cluster to give it the look of an afterburner, and the dashboard vents are also aircraft-inspired. Prominently featured in the vehicle is an integrated tablet or smartphone.
Revealing the concept at the NYIAS raises the question, are American car buyers ready for a luxury compact car? Luxury carmakers seem to think so. Aston Martin will begin production on its high-end compact Cygnet this year, and BMW will begin production of its i3 city car in 2013.