By Chris Knapman,telegraph
Mercedes-Benz describes its new Concept A-class as "a car that might have come from another planet", albeit one where the inhabitants still use a "turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a dual clutch transmission and a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist".
Admittedly, the latter is a first for a compact car, but the engines come not from another planet, but the C-class. Low and sleek with lots of clever details, the car's styling is said to have been inspired by a number of things: "The wind and the waves, as well as aviation engineering, were the sources of inspiration for its designers" apparently.
The car's dashboard, meanwhile, has "the shape of an aircraft wing and a translucent, stretchable textile lining" allowing "the bionic, cellular structure of the component to remain visible." The aircraft theme continues with the air vents, which have been modelled to look like jet engines, while the central control unit is based on a modern flight panel - even the gearlever takes the form of a "reverse thrust control".
The Concept A-class will appear at the Shanghai motor show from April 21-28 and gives pointers to how the new production A-class will look.
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