In the coming year, the new A-Class as a harbinger of the new compact car generation will replace a bestseller that has decisively contributed to a more youthful brand image for Mercedes-Benz: the average age of European drivers of this most progressive compact class model is now 13 years lower than for the preceding series. And now the revolution is set to continue: the coming A‑Class completely redefines Modern Luxury in the interior. At the same time it has considerably more utility value, making it as youthful as ever but as grown-up as never before.
“The new A-Class embodies the next stage in our design philosophy of sensual purity, and has the potential to usher in a new design era,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. “The interior presents modern luxury at a level previously unattainable in this class, and transports the user interface into the digital age.”
The interior architecture and the control & display systems of the new A-Class are a USP in this segment. The dashboard is divided into two three-dimensional, horizontal sections: the lower section is visually separated from the main body of the dashboard by a “trench”, and it appears to float in front of the dashboard. The optional ambience lighting enhances this effect, accentuating the free-floating impression of the substructure.
The standard widescreen cockpit is completely free-standing, and for the first time there are absolutely no cowls above the instruments. The sporty air vents in a turbine-look are another highlight.
The A-Class also takes its lead from the luxury Mercedes-Benz models where many other details are concerned. The multifunctional steering wheel comes from the S-Class, for example. The front seats likewise have comfort features available from higher segments, including seat climate control, massage function and multicontour seat. The trim elements are in a “wrap-around” design, and the choice of materials (e.g. open-pore wood) underscores the progressive, high-quality positioning.
The interior has a greatly enhanced feeling of spaciousness, better all-round visibility and more space. Utility value is increased by more shoulder-room (front +9 mm, rear +22 mm), elbow-room (front +35 mm, rear +36 mm) and headroom (front +7 mm, rear +8 mm). Easier access to the rear seats is another plus point of the new A-Class. The luggage compartment behind the rear seats is more suitable for family and recreational use, and has a capacity of 370 litres – 29 litres more than the preceding model. Thanks to two-section rear lights, the loading aperture is 20 cm wider than before, and the luggage compartment floor is 11.5 cm longer. If required the rear seat backrest can be positioned more upright, e.g. to accommodate bulky boxes. All-round visibility has also been considerably improved: by around ten percent.
Ambience lighting: avantgarde light pattern
From 12 to 64 – with the generation change, five times as many colours are available for the ambience lighting of the new A‑Class. And it is not just the variety that has increased, as the emotive presentation also sets standards in this segment: the different colours are composed into ten colour worlds allow an avantgarde lighting display with spectacular colour changes.
The colour worlds can be matched to the different styles of the widescreen display if required, creating a harmonious overall impression. There are also lighting effects that customers can activate individually.
The avantgarde ambience lighting was already taken into consideration in an early development phase, and systematically integrated into the interior design. This is apparent e.g. in the area where the upper and lower sections of the dashboard come together. Thanks to a combination of indirect and direct lighting, a very special ambience is created here which might be compared to the night-time illumination of a historic building. The interior of the turbine-like air vents with galvanised surfaces is likewise emotively presented by the ambience lighting.
The interior lighting uses only long-lasting, energy-saving LED technology.
Seats: comfort features from higher vehicle classes
When developing the seats for the A-Class, Mercedes-Benz used computer-based comfort simulation for the first time in the compact segment. Before the first real seat is actually available, this allows reliable prognoses to be made about the future comfort impression of the seating system solely on the basis of CAD data.
At the same time, comfort features from higher vehicle segments made an appearance: on request, and for the first time in this model series, not only seat heating but also seat climate control and a Multicontour Seat package are available for the front seats. With the seat climate control, there is a radial fan in each seat cushion. The air taken in through the perforated seat cover flows through the seat structure and is vented downwards and to the rear. This surrounds the occupants with a pleasant flow of air. Even when the interior has been strongly heated up in hot weather, the seat climate control rapidly cools the seat surfaces by taking in cooler ambient air. The ventilation level is adjustable in three stages.
With the Multicontour Seat package, the side bolsters and lumbar support can be individually adjusted by an electrically driven pneumatic pump. A massage effect in the lumbar area is provided by air chambers which are inflated and deflated in a pulsing or wave-like motion when the function is activated.
A total of three different front seats are available for the new A-Class: in addition to the basic model there is the comfort seat with up to 20 adjustments and the sporty integral seat available in combination with equipment lines.
The rear seats have a 60/40 split as standard, and the backrests can be folded down accordingly. A rear seat backrest with a 40/20/40 split is also available for even more variability in conjunction with the lines. In combination with the Load Compartment package (optional), the rear seat backrest can be positioned more upright, e.g. to accommodate bulky boxes.
Source: Daimler AG