by Philipp Deppe | 15.Juni 2012
With the new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz is opening up a new chapter in the compact segment: markedly emotive in design, with powerful engines ranging from 80 kW (109 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), extremely efficient with emissions from just 98 g of CO2/km and a best-in-class drag coefficient of 0.27.
At the same time the new model underlines that for Mercedes-Benz, safety is not a question of price – the standard specification includes, amongst other things, the radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system. Prices start at €23,978.50 (incl. 19% VAT) for the A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY. The new A-Class is available to order with immediate effect.
“The new A-Class is the heartbeat of a new generation at Mercedes-Benz”, stresses Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for Sales & Marketing. “We have taken the opportunity to design a completely new vehicle which sets standards in its segment. I am convinced that the new A-Class will make a significant contribution to our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy.”
With air conditioning, Audio 5 USB, electric windows all round, Headlamp Assist and 12-button multifunction steering wheel, the A-Class is already fully equipped even in its base configuration. With “Urban”, “Style” and “AMG Sport” appointment lines, three design packages (“Night”, “Exclusive” and “AMG Exclusive”) as well as further optional extras, the model can be customised to suit every individual taste.
Available appointments, many familiar from higher vehicle classes, include the Intelligent Light System (€1666), electrically adjustable front seats with memory function (from €398.65) or dashboard finished in ARTICO man-made leather (part of the Exclusive package costing from €1249.50). All three appointment lines (from €297.50) feature front sports seats with integrated head restraints and contrasting stitching, and can be combined with all engine variants.
Further sporty details designed to appeal to the vehicle’s young target group include designo seat belts in red (€357) or silver instrument cluster with red dial pointers (part of the Urban and AMG Sport lines as well as the Exclusive and AMG Exclusive packages).
A wide choice of petrol and diesel engines meets every power requirement and reaches new heights in terms of efficiency and environmental compatibility: the A 180 CDI CDI BlueEFFICIENCY (€26,477.50) will be the very first Mercedes-Benz to emit only 98 g of CO2 per kilometre. All engines of the new A-Class feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines can be combined with the new six-speed manual transmission or optionally with the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission (€2165.80), which ideally combines comfort and sportiness.
In the case of the A 250 Sport, the AMG Sport appointment line is available
as standard. The visual affinity to the Concept A-CLASS is especially evident with this model – particularly due to the new diamond grille. The A 250 Sport (€36,860.25) features exclusive 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a 5-spoke design with 235/40 R 18 tyres all round and painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, together with red-painted brake callipers. These give an indication of the vehicle’s particularly dynamic driving qualities which are characterised, amongst other features, by a special AMG-developed front axle and a suspension that has been configured to match.
With its special engine and transmission configuration, the A 250 Sport also provides a very special driving experience which is enhanced further by the emotionally appealing sound of the modified exhaust system.
Highest standard of safety in the compact class
The A-Class is equipped as standard with a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist which lowers the risk of rear-end collisions. This COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system is able to provide a visual and audible warning to alert a potentially distracted driver and can prepare Brake Assist for the most precise possible braking response. This is initiated as soon as the driver operates the brake pedal decisively. The ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system also comes as standard.
The PRE-SAFE preventive occupant protection system (€392.70) is available for the A-Class for the first time. Core features of PRE-SAFE are reversible belt tensioning, the closing of side windows and sliding sunroof in case of critical lateral dynamics and adjustment of the fully electric seats to an ideal position for maximum effectiveness of the restraint systems. The DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control system is available as an option (€1023.40).
The A-Class protects its passengers with up to nine airbags. The standard complement comprises driver and front-passenger airbag, a kneebag for the driver, large thorax/pelvisbags incorporated in the seat to protect the chest, stomach and pelvis area and windowbags. These extend over both rows of seats and reach as far as the A-pillar triangle. Sidebags for the rear are optionally available (€446.25).
Comprehensive iPhone integration
This seamless integration of the iPhone into the vehicle, in conjunction with the new revolutionary user interface design, means that Mercedes-Benz is now able to offer the Facebook generation its natural home on four wheels in the guise of the new A-Class. Along with Facebook, Twitter and so on, the “Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone®” (€690.20; expected to be available as an accessory from the fourth quarter of 2012 and as an optional extra from the first quarter of 2013), together with the Daimler app concept, brings further digital lifestyle services and content into the vehicle. Highlights include advanced navigation software from Garmin, with internet-based real-time traffic information, online POI searches and 3D map display.
The Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone can already be used with the Audio 20 CD (€416.50). This features a twin tuner and mp3-capable CD player as well as a Bluetooth® interface with hands-free function and audio streaming. The colour display measures 14.7 cm diagonally. Thanks to a new “Cover Art” function, the title images of the music albums currently being played are shown if their details are stored in the audio file.
The Becker MAP PILOT (€856.80) makes a low-cost 3D navigation function, which can also be retrofitted, available for the Audio 20 CD radio. The navigation system boasts voice-controlled input of destinations and an intuitive user interface. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls and the Audio 20 CD display, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.
The multimedia system COMAND Online (from €3153.50) now provides internet access via a web-enabled mobile phone, plus various Mercedes-Benz services on the move. These include weather information and a special destination search via Google, as well as the option of downloading a route that has been previously configured on a PC using Google Maps and sent to the car. A new feature is the “News” app which enables news on politics, finance and technology to be called up online in the vehicle. Information is displayed in such a way that it is clearly legible while on the move.
Continuing success: the Mercedes-Benz A-Class
The A-Class has been a bestseller for a number of generations. Since its market launch in 1997, it has blazed a trail for a new vehicle class with its unique design, becoming a driving force in the compact car segment. The second generation alone, which was launched in 2005, sold more than a million examples worldwide.
In the year of its model change too, the A-Class continues to enjoy tremendous popularity: in the first quarter of 2012 the model series has experienced significant growth of 17% compared with the previous year. The A-Class is enjoying particularly high demand among customers in Europe, with Germany ranking highest, followed by the UK, Italy and France.
Source: Daimler AG