Mercedes-Benz to Give Its Compact Cars Updated A-Class Aesthetics

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Mercedes-Benz is giving the world an artful taste of its next generation of compact cars with its “Aesthetics A” design study. The updated design adopts a rounded, flowing look without the complete abandonment of hard edges. Benz claims the new aesthetic is the evolution of the current “Sensual Purity” design’s organic and tapered shapes. Great marketing, but it just makes the next design philosophy sound less intricate and involved. It sounds a little boring, although we won’t know for sure until we see a finished car.

In the abstract, however, the study hints at the general shape of eight new compact models coming from Benz over the next three years. The new A-Class, B-Class, GLA, and CLA will all be touched by the less curvaceous styling identity, which includes an imposing grille. A new compact sedan will arrive to rival Audi’s A3, along with an additional crossover to serve as an alternative to the GLA. All of the vehicles will make use of Benz’s modular front architecture platform (MFA) and move closer to in shape to company’s larger sedans.

“There will be a predator face at the front,” Daimler’s Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener told Bloomberg from a darkened room in Sindelfingen, Germany, where the model is stored. He explained that the typical Mercedes air inlet will morph into a more antagonistic grille possessing vertical teeth-like bars. “Creases have had their day.”

“It’s our job to reinvent ourselves,” Wagener told reporters. “It’ll be a very sporty, aggressive car, even as it’s pared back and pure.”

Benz wrestled the German luxury car sales crown away from BMW in 2016, with deliveries growing at double its rival’s pace. While a lot of that success has to do with Mercedes’ new SUVs and sportier updates to its fleet, Benz also dramatically redesigned its E-Class. In contrast, BMW’s current 5 Series looks a little more like a car from ten years earlier. Unsurprisingly, BMW took the larger hit in sales.

[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 8 comments
  • True_Blue True_Blue on Jan 27, 2017

    An AMG E-klasse coupe with the lines in the first shot would be a knockout. Cribs from the SL 300 in the grille.

  • Car Ramrod Car Ramrod on Jan 27, 2017

    Photo appears to be from a deleted "terminator 2" scene.

  • Bd2 Probably too late to do anything about it for the launch, but Kia should plan on doing an extensive refresh of the front fascia (the earlier, the better) as the design looks really ungainly.
  • Namesakeone Since I include SUVs and minivans as trucks, I really cannot think of a brand that is truly truckless. MG maybe?
  • Sobhuza Trooper Subaru, they were almost there with the BRAT. --On a lighter note, where the hell is my Cooper Works Mini truck?
  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.