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The Mercedes-Benz Nafa was a concept car from 1982.

The car had four-wheel steering, automatic transmission and air conditioning all part of the package.

An automotive study with front-wheel drive and two seats that packaged together ideas for an innovative city car with Mercedes-Benz flair which the manufacturer also intended to offer in an extended three or four-seater version.

The only reason the study did not make it to the factory production line was that it simply could not match up to the car maker’s strict safety criteria which place occupant protection at the top of the list of priorities. In order to overcome this hurdle, ingenious new ideas were needed which only materialised many years later in the form of the sandwich concept in the A-Class and the passenger safety cell in the smart.

On the plus side, however, the NAFA’s short dimensions endowed it with supreme maneuverability in even the tightest spaces, and parking would never be a problem again either. Slots of around just four metres in length were quite sufficient for its miniature proportions, with the four-wheel steering meaning that it could be guided into spaces forwards too. The NAFA boasted an array of further features which made it perfectly compatible with the demands of city driving: a low waistline, high seating position and expansive windows affording an optimum allround view.

There were also sliding doors offering effortless access even when parked up close to other cars or garage walls, while the ingenious dimensional concept ensured occupants enjoyed sufficient levels of comfort and freedom of movement despite the body’s short length.