Just don't call it a CLA, because it's not.
It was the end of January when Mercedes introduced the Aesthetics A Sculpture as a way to tell us the A-Class family is set to expand with the next generation. That “sculpture” has now evolved to become the Concept A Sedan previewing what will become an A-Class Sedan in a few years. Rather than replacing the CLA, the new model currently being previewed at Auto Shanghai will join its swoopy “four-door coupe” brother.
Mercedes is attempting to make the traditional three-box design a tad more exciting by shortening the overhangs and by installing flush door handles along with a sporty Panamericana front grille. Typical for a concept, the showcar has a set of large alloy wheels, a 20-inch set in this case. To spice things up even further, the headlights adopt a new shape and come with an intricate design, while the back of the car proposes a more modern take on the CLA’s derrière.
We have noticed the red car depicted in the official images as well as the silver one in Shanghai had all of the windows tinted, which is usually a sign the automaker doesn’t want us to see the interior. None of the attached videos are showing the concept’s cabin, so Mercedes isn’t willing just yet to provide a glimpse of the interior changes in tow for its next family of A-Class. One feature we expect to see is the implementation of a fully digital instrument cluster, at least as an option.
Speaking of the A-Class family, the lineup will allegedly be expanded furthermore with the addition of a long-wheelbase A-Class Sedan catering the Chinese market. Rumour has it Mercedes is also prepping a GLB, which as the name implies will slot between the GLA and GLC crossovers. This one too is expected to spawn a LWB variant for China and it might even have seven seats.
All future A- and B-Class models will ride on an evolution of today’s Modular Front Architecture (MFA). Mercedes will kick things off with the next-gen A-Class hatchback due probably sometime next year considering prototypes have been spotted testing since 2016.