“Fascinating,” as Mr. Spock might say. Fascination, we’d correct him. Or, more precisely, the striking Concept Fascination prototype that drew admiring stares when it made its debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.
A somewhat less exotic version has already appeared in production, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. But it seems the show car’s influence is stretching into other designs, sources indicate. A sort of coupe-wagon crossover, the Fascination strongly influenced another intriguing concept vehicle, this year’s Mercedes-Benz F800 Style.
Blend them together, and they will reappear as the next-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class, due to market roughly two years from now.
The original A-Class was the German maker’s first effort to target the emerging mini-luxury segment. Short, narrow and tall, it was a bit ungainly, in part because it was conceived as a way to use a variety of different powertrains, possibly even electric drive, key components of which would be mounted below the vehicle’s load floor.
Moving forward, Mercedes appears to be aiming for something a bit more conventional in overall design, but a replacement A-Class that, nonetheless, wins hearts, minds and pocketbooks with eye-catching good looks and plenty of features, say several company insiders.