Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class To Debut at Shanghai and New York Auto ShowsJust the Facts:
- A conceptual forerunner of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class compact, due in 2012, will be introduced concurrently at the 2011 New York and Shanghai auto shows.
- The Concept A-Class features a 210-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline direct-injection engine mated to a dual-clutch transmission.
- The automaker's selection of New York as a joint introductory venue suggests Mercedes is seriously considering bringing the next-generation A-Class to the States.
Company executives previously have hinted that the next A-Class might come to the U.S., and the choice of New York as a joint introductory venue with Shanghai supports that notion.
The exterior design of the Concept A-Class looks dramatically different from that of the current production model, which is not marketed in North America. The latter was designed originally with a unique "sandwich" platform that was engineered to accommodate a variety of drivetrains, including a pure electric system. The next-generation A-Class, as embodied in the concept, shifts to a more conventional transverse front-wheel-drive layout.
Powering the concept is a four-cylinder gasoline engine from the automaker's M270 BlueEfficiency family. The engine is a 210-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline direct-injection unit, driving the front wheels through a dual-clutch transmission.
The Concept A-Class also features a radar-based collision warning system that provides visual and acoustic warnings to the driver and is bundled with adaptive brake assist to help reduce the risk of a rear-end collision.
In addition to LED headlamps and fiber-optic daytime running lamps, the concept adds an integrated smartphone, with functions displayed as 3D apps and operated by the car's rotary/push controller.
Edmunds.com says: Look for the production version in U.S. showrooms within the next year or two. — Paul Lienert, Correspondent