► New Merc Concept A Sedan
► It's a baby CLA-alike saloon
► Shown at Auto Shanghai 2017
The expansion of the Mercedes-Benz A-class family shows no sign of slowing down: Daimler today unveiled the new Concept A Sedan at the 2017 Shanghai motor show - and it'll go on sale in 2018.
Merc admits it 'provides an outlook of the next generation of compact vehicles and a potential new body type.' It's subtly distinct from the existing CLA (a kind of shrunken baby CLS swooping four-door).
Execs admit that the A-class range will continue to expand to eight different variants. Why? Because the small car family is the main reason why Daimler sales continue to grow.
It's sold more than 2 million A-class derived cars globally since this generation landed in 2012, contributing to six years on the trot of sales records in Stuttgart.
The Concept A Sedan is 4570mm long, 1870mm wide and 1462mm tall, giving it a similar footprint to an Audi A3 saloon.
Merc is targeting the A3 four-door and the China-only BMW 1-series saloon with its forthcoming new small four-door, which carries the C118 codename. We understand it may be offered in two different wheelbases.
The new model is shown at the 2017 Shanghai motor show.
The age of creases is over
Interestingly, the new Concept A heralds a new design direction at Merc; its design boss admitted that the over-fussy styling era was over.
'Our Concept A Sedan shows, that the time of creases is over,' said Gorden Wagener, Merc's chief design officer. 'With its perfect proportions and a sensual treatment of surfaces with reduced lines, it is the next milestone of "Sensual Purity" and has the potential to introduce a new design era.'
Sensual Purity is the inhouse term to describe the new-look Mercedes-Benz cars. Not that big rims are out; this concept car rolls on huge 20-inch alloys.
Mercedes Concept A Sedan: a lighting masterclass
Note the complex lighting that gives the new A such a distinctive face: an internal grid structure is coated with UV paint, making the lights glow in different colours.
When running in day-running light mode, they're white, but can switch to different hues for different conditions.
Mercedes says the new Concept A Sedan is designed to be more practical, with a higher roofline and a relatively upright C-pillar for more interior space.
The production version will be based on the group's latest small-car architecture, dubbed MFA2 and will be built in Germany, Hungary and - this time - China, explaining its debut in Shanghai.
See more from the Shanghai motor show here