The sun is shining strong, the air is light and the sky is flawless yet blemished with the most perfect of cloud formations, if such a thing exists. I am at the seaside town of Portoroz, Slevenia and summer is indeed here.It’s not my preferred season for its far too eclectic crowd (generally the same tourist types that you get to see in Bukit Bintang or Langkawi, or any tourist trap in Malaysia); but as usual, what brings me here is work. Mercedes has the new A-class for the world’s motoring writers to test…
Two days ago however, I spent a good part of the day walking almost aimlessly taking in the sights of Munich, sharing the city with what seems to be a million other visitors, each trying to get the most from the season. There is something about sunshine in this context; the people by all means celebrate after the preceding few months of bitter cold, replacing the thick jackets, gloves and boots with bermudas, t-shorts and shades.
Things are no different here at Portoroz and it is with a tinge of regret that the A-class I drove yesterday was not a convertible. In fact, a convertible variant is not part of the line-up; but fair enough, the new A is already such a far cry from the original. But it is summer and driving with the top down, for a while at least (the sun is blazing down with a summer vengeance) would have been nice. Still, the A-class have managed to prove its point. As it was communicated during the press briefing yesterday, the A in the new car means ‘Attack’ – for sales of course, in the Premium Compact Segment it is in. And for that, the word Dynamic may have been used one time too many but they were also careful to only use it in the context of design. Sure, the A-class looks spectacular when the light that reflects off it are captured by a camera’s sensor, but perhaps, the effect is not similar to how our retina translates it. Is it sporty and sleek? Yes; but not as jaw dropping as the pictures suggest it to be. Not a problem.
There will be some more driving planned for today as we head back to Ljubljana, the country’s capital with a population of about 200,000. I do hope to get more intimate to what the new Mercedes has to offer. I liked the old one which was clearly relevant as an urban vehicle with its tiny footprint but the attention has now gone wider. The signs to indicate that the new A will strike the correct notes with Malaysian buyers are there, and in a few months we will know whether the previous generation’s compact design turn out to be the sibling that sort of got in the way of its potential. Of course, a more detailed review is coming soon!