Concept Cars

Concept A Sedan promises a sleek future for Mercedes

It's like a miniature AMG GT Concept sedan, and that's a great thing.

Mercedes-Benz

What you're looking at here is the future of Mercedes-Benz's small-car design language, and the future is looking good.

Mercedes-Benz showed off the Concept A Sedan at the Shanghai Auto Show, and it offers the public a preview of what to expect from future small Mercedes models -- A-Class, B-Class, CLA-Class and GLA-Class, the latter three of which are available in the US.

I don't even want to know what headlights like this would cost on a production car.

Mercedes-Benz

The Concept A Sedan looks closest to the CLA-Class, thanks to its sedan body and coupe-like rear end. The original CLA is pretty angular, but this concept takes it to another level with significantly more straight lines in the lighting structures. Yet, at the same time, it's smoother than other models, with a reduction in the number of visible creases across the body.

Its thin headlights and low hood remind me of the AMG GT Concept sedan, which is not a bad thing at all. It probably won't pack 800 horsepower like the super-sedan concept, but hey, small cars require some sacrifice.

There are still some touches of the current Mercedes design language, as well. There's a low, wide grille, and underneath it, what looks like a single opening houses additional air inlets on either side of the engine. Out back, the tailpipes hide behind a diffuser that, like the front end, emphasizes width with a wide opening trimmed in chrome.

Many concepts are quick to ditch traditional side mirrors, but Mercedes kept them here, probably to make the car seem a bit closer to reality. The wheels are actually pretty well proportioned to the body, as well. Aside from the wild design of the headlights, the most "concept car" things about the Concept A Sedan are the door handles, which mount flush inside the body panels.