By on July 23, 2018

While the rest of the world will be able to enjoy the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback, the United States is patiently waiting for the sedan. Since Americans won’t be privy to the liftback model, it’s to be four doors or nothing.

This is our first look at the model without camouflage and, while it resembles the A-Class hatchback to a large extent, there are some aspects unique to the sedan. The most evident change will be the rear end but, as the teaser image doesn’t show that portion of the car, we’re left analyzing the front bumper — which scales down the oversized air inlets and ditches the slats.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the changes weren’t entirely aesthetic. It claims the vehicle’s shape results in a drag coefficient of only 0.22. That beats the outgoing CLA Coupe (along with the BMW 5 Series) as the most aerodynamic production car in the world. 

It likely explains the smaller inlets and more rounded front end. The ultra-aerodynamic CLA that boasts the lowest drag coefficient is the front-drive “BlueEFFICIENCY Edition,” and it shares a similar styling theme. That means the A-Class we’re seeing in the wind tunnel might not be representative of what you’ll typically see on the streets. In fact, when the long-wheelbase version of the sedan was showcased in China, the front end was much harder to distinguish from the hatchback.

There’s a fair chance we won’t even see the model outfitted for this level of efficiency in the United States. Mercedes’ didn’t say so explicitly, but we noticed news of the sedan’s slippery bodywork didn’t make it to the U.S. media site. Instead, we may have something identical to the Chinese market’s long-wheelbase variant. Just a little stumpier.

Still, it is impressive that Daimler managed to pull this off again. The model uses an “extensive sealing concept” to keep air from getting in through all the nooks and crannies between the headlamps, as well as almost complete panelling of the underbody — which includes the engine bay, main floor pan, parts of the rear axle, and the diffuser.

The front and rear wheel spoilers have likewise been optimized to route the air around the wheels as efficiently as possible. However, any air that does come into contact with them will be treated to further smoothening, as both have been fine-tuned to promote drag reduction. There’s also a shutter system behind the radiator grille that minimizes airflow through the engine bay that will be available in some markets.

Will the United States be one of them? Daimler introduced a gas-burning variant of the formerly diesel BlueEFFICIENCY CLA, but it has typically kept its smallest engines out of the American market no matter what type of fuel they burn. We’re falling on the “no” side of the fence at the moment, but we could end up being surprised.

The streamlined A-Class sedan will launch at the end of 2018, with production commencing in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and Rastatt, Germany.

[Images: Daimler]

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15 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz A-Class to Become World’s Most Aerodynamic Production Vehicle...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    These ultra-smooth shapes look very nice, but the ~35″ of rear headroom they often provide makes the back seat unusable for most people.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    And here I always thought nothing would ever beat the egg-shaped third generation Taurus.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Somebody will tow a camper with one of these.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    It’d probably be more aerodynamic without the over-sized upper grille. However this does give Mercedes an excuse to make their cheaper model horribly cramped in the back.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Looks like ****.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    If Mercedes-Benz can get people into(and these people RUSH out) these things– they’ve done their jobs and should be rewarded for keeping the company selling replacement cars and parts for the next product cycle.

    My last car was the aero model, and it was brilliant at what it did well. Miserable otherwise.

    There’s no way to make this car nice enough to keep, and also to be light/efficient/aerodynamic enough to meet it’s economy goals.

    Instant unhappy, upside-down trade-ins on vehicles with HUGE margins– the CUV version of this same old car. FCA just did it to me– Dart >Jeep. The whole industry is doing it.

    I’m pretty convinced automobilia has matured to a point no consumer can buy a vehicle and not become a subscriber or pawn in the next round. Pick your poison– any poison.

    So long as it’s black, white– or a shade of grey. Gets 40mpg.

    And guarantees you’re happy enough for 18 months– but unhappy enough after them– to become a consistent revenue stream.

    In eternity.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I never understood the American aversion to hatchbacks. I have heard all the arguments against them: lack of security for luggage, extra noise from the back axle etc. but the same arguments apply to CUVs which you Americans are buying in droves. I don’t get it.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      And the manufacturers are being sneaky about hatchbacks as well. If you go to the Kia USA site the Stinger is listed under “sedans”.

      Personally one of the reasons I want to check out the current Regal and the Stinger is because they are actually hatchbacks. The mail slot trunk openings on current sedans are very annoying.

  • avatar
    ReSa

    This.

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