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Are we looking at a sixth member of Mercedes-Benz's compact cars family? This little four-door is the Concept A Sedan, revealed at Auto Shanghai, and it not only previews a possible A-Class Saloon variant, it also shows off the look all of the existing compacts - A-Class Hatch, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, B-Class and GLA - will benefit from when they're updated in a few years' time.
The Concept A Sedan uses the newer, smoother Mercedes design language that it is calling 'Aesthetics A', and there's more than a hint of both the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 and the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept to the Chinese debutant. This car sculpture is said to feature reduced lines and flat surfaces, plus a bigger 'Panamericana' grille.
If it does morph into the A-Class Saloon, which would have to sit alongside the existing CLA 'four-door coupe', then it will be a crucial car for Mercedes worldwide and not just in sedan-loving markets like China. Mercedes has sold more than two million compact vehicles globally since 2012 and Britta Seeger, Daimler's board member for Car Marketing and Sales, said: "Their success shows that our customers are absolutely delighted with the current generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars. We are therefore extremely confident that the planned expansion will lead to a continuation of this success story."
The Concept A Sedan is 4,570mm long, 1,870mm wide and 1,462mm tall. It has a three-box profile and short overhangs front and rear, plus a 'relatively vertical' C-pillar. Concept cars cannot roll on anything less than colossal alloys, so 20-inch items reside in the wheel wells, while the show car has refreshingly avoided having cameras for exterior rear-view mirrors - instead, it has conventional items that sit proud of the car's one defining crease, the beltline. No word on whether the flush-fitted door handles would make the showroom grade, though.
At the front are headlamps with the 'eyebrow' feature that's typical of Mercedes, plus a clear grid structure within their embrace. This is coated with a UV paint that glows in different colours according to the light medium outside - so the car has alternative shades of illumination according to what time of day it is. The same lighting technology is used at the rear and there's also a diffuser-look to the back bumper, made up of black and chrome trim. The Concept A Sedan also features privacy glass all round and a panoramic roof.
"Our Concept A Sedan shows that the time of creases is over," said Gorden Wagener, chief design officer at Daimler. "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."