Mercedes-Benz has revealed the first interior pictures of the all-new A-class. We are still waiting to see the rest of the car in full, but with a suite of new tech and a whole new type of cabin architecture to feast our eyes on, the interior will do for now.
Looking instantly recognisable as a Mercedes, the A-class draws many design elements from larger Mercedes models, only with a more youthful spin. The most obvious change from the current car is the adoption of a similar ‘control centre’ screen layout as seen on the S and E-class. The interior specifications shown in these pictures feature two 10.25-inch displays sat behind a single pane of glass, but this set up is due to be optional. Entry-level A-Class models will get two 7-inch displays and the ability to upgrade one or both screens to larger units.
Look beyond the new tech and you’ll see that Mercedes has for the first time really thought about the opportunities of consolidating all the car’s information displays into one unit. It has then designed the rest of the cabin architecture around that digital interface.
One example of this is the lack of cowling over the top of the screens. Mercedes designers have paid close attention to the angle and anti-glare properties of the glass, negating the need for it. These screens then sit in on top of a ledge in the main dash with a sweep of brushed metal running behind them and on in to the door inserts.
The inclusion of ambient lighting has also been a consideration from the early design stages, meaning its use is better integrated into the design and less of an afterthought as so many ambient lighting systems are.
Underneath the central screen are three round ‘afterburner’ air vents similar to those on the current A-class, they point ever so slightly towards the driver to achieve a more driver orientated feeling. Underneath these vents is a familiar Mercedes secondary control bar, sitting just above the point that the entire dash folds back in towards the firewall in a similar fashion to the current Audi A3.
Controlling the two screens are both steering wheel-mounted buttons and a centrally mounted touchpad. This is the first new interior design where Mercedes has removed the traditional click wheel, a design element due to spread across the range.
Part of this new interior’s all round improvement is in the space offered, with the new cabin growing in all directions, including a larger 370-litre boot (an Audi A3’s is 380 litres for reference) as well as a wider opening thanks to new two-piece tail lights that spread onto the tailgate.
As for the exterior, the new A-class will take a majority of its design cues from the A-class saloon concept. As seen in spy shots, the hatch looks to share the current car’s basic aesthetic, only this time adding an extra pinch of aggression to the front end.
Chief among the visual changes is a new down-turned grille that first made its appearance on the facelifted Mercedes-AMG GT. The new grill is now flanked by two slim lighting units that look like they have been taken straight off the A-class saloon concept from earlier in 2017, albeit in entry-level halogen specification here.
The flanks have a smoother profile than the current car’s with the convening character lines giving way to more traditional detailing. The window line looks much the same though, as does the tail, save for some slimmer lights that now spread across onto the tailgate. The new taillights will also address the issue of a narrow boot opening on the current car, an irritable side-effect of the previous single-piece units.
Mercedes has not given much away when it comes to drivetrains, although we expect a wide range of Mercedes-developed four and possibly even three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. AMG has also had a big say in this car’s development, with a new-generation A45 AMG ready to retake it’s crown of being the most powerful hot hatch from the Audi RS3. Rumours also persist of a new, lower powered A40 AMG version deisgned to rival less extreme, but higher selling hot hatch rivals like the Audi S3 and Golf R.
Peer behind the hatch in the pictures and you’ll also see a saloon body style, which as the concept suggested will be available early in the A-class’ model cycle. This does bring into question the likelihood of Mercedes ditching the CLA nomenclature, but we will have to wait and see. A new-gen GLA SUV and B-Class MPV are definite though, so expect to see them in due course too.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk