We must admit that we’re eagerly awaiting to see what the production version of the MINI Superleggera Roadster will be like. But it seems it won’t be the only new small premium sporty FWD car set for the near future, as Mercedes is also reportedly working on something quite similar.
German sources suggest a small next-gen A-Class-based coupe model is in the pipeline, and that it will be unveiled in concept form in 2017 or 2018. It will be a bit bigger than the MINI, as it will have to carry four people in order to match its rival the Audi TT, plus there’s also a rumored BMW Z2 sports car with drive going mainly to the front wheels.
If the rumor is true, then I don’t think the result will look like the 2011 Concept A shown in the previous article (in fact that previewed the five-door A-Class). It’s supposed to mirror the styling of the AMG GT, so it could look something like the rendering posted here.
Mercedes seems to be very good at making front-wheel drive cars look rear-wheel drive (think CLA); there would be no reason why they wouldn’t pull of the trick one more time to make its smallest sporty model look more macho.
However, would we really want such a model to be created? A small, front-wheel drive-biased glorified hatchback that’s been styled to look like it goes fast?
Yes, the top AMG version would be a rocket, as it’d use the same running gear as the (future) A45, but most would be bought by hipsters in FWD diesel trim with an automatic; imagine how many graphics patterns they’d offer on it…
If Mercedes wants to create a TT rival, then it has to work much harder than Audi to make it work. I mean the result could be a tad on the ridiculous side, like some of their nouveau niche models (the CLA and GLA). Both of those are a bit comical, even though neither is really a bad car by any means; they just look goofy, a bit over the top.
Maybe Mercedes got bitten by the flamboyant French design bug from all that cooperating with Renault on the Smart and diesel engines – they’ve now thrown caution to the wind and are trying every single styling trick in the book on their smallest offerings.
Quick rendering created in-house by Andrei Nedelea