The futuristic Concept A-Class as one Mercedes-Benz’s highlights at the Johannesburg Motor Show (JIMS) in October 2011. “The Concept A-Class heralds the imminent arrival of an all-new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars,” says Eckart Mayer, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Mercedes-Benz South Africa.“With its expressive design and host of technical innovations, the Concept A-Class offers a glimpse of the forthcoming A-Class,” adds Mayer. “Within the global trend towards compact cars, we see a fast growing demand for premium compact cars. We believe that by the end of the decade, this market segment will have grown from its current level of 5.8 million vehicles worldwide to around 7.7 million vehicles. Locally we see this trend taking shape and we will be ready with some exciting products for our prospective customers,” added Mayer. STYLING BENZ FASHION FORWARD: The sporty Concept A-Class debuts a new engine for Mercedes. The concept certainly appeals with its long bonnet, low-slung body and compact greenhouse, conveying a sportiness that has thus far been absent at the bottom end of the Mercedes-Benz line-up. Its styling is heavily influenced by the F800 Style concept with its strong structural design and prominent shoulder line. Replacing the traditional radiator grille is a collection of silver dots, while the concept’s full LED headlamps repeat the idea with a number of lighting points. Inside the cabin, the dashboard is said to be shaped like an aircraft wing and covered with a translucent fabric lining. Even the central hangdown is fashioned on a modern flight panel.Technically, the compact concept also heralds a new era for the brand with its transverse four-cylinder petrol engine with direct injection and turbocharging for minimal emissions and fuel consumption. Here, the two-litre Blue Efficiency unit, which develops 155kW, is mated with Merc’s new dual clutch transmission. Mercedes claims a world first in the compact class as its compact is fitted with a collision warning system (with visual and acoustic warning) and adaptive brake assist. Click here for more Mercedes-Benz stories from the show.Read more about the models on show at the 2011 Johannesburg International Motor Show.