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The Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be hitting U.S. dealerships in 2014, giving the American market a viable option for a small luxury vehicle. And since we still have a bit to wait until it hits American soil, the German automaker has released all-new photos of the A-Class for us to enjoy.
Mercedes briefly flashed some of the car’s interior last week in a video talking about style and craftsmanship. Now we have a full video and a host of pictures to show you what the car looks like. More importantly, it gives us a strong indication of what the CLC or the CLA will look like at the 2013 debut.
The scene was something you might normally expect around an outrageous car like the Lamborghini Aventador J, but it wasn’t. Instead, the Euro folk were jazzed about Mercedes’ new line of small cars that have yet to make it stateside despite repeated promises by the brand to do so.
Those fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where these baby-Benzes cruise the streets can look forward to choosing between a 1.6- and 1.8-liter gasoline engines ranging from 107 to 154 horsepower and a diesel option.
The new A Class is also 6.3 inches lower than the previous model and is available in an AMG-engineered 250 Sport package.
A Class buyers will also probably appreciate the significant advances in technology integration, including native iPhone support that offers Siri connectivity (Apple’s voice command software).
Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche said while addressing the crowd that the latest integration makes using your iPhone’s features safer while driving by offering use of the device via the car’s controls and a bigger screen.
Safety doesn’t stop there — the car can also have collision prevention and Mercedes’ “pre-safe” system.
While there still isn’t word on the fabled U.S. release, Zetsche said pricing wouldn’t increase on the new model.
Watch our A-Class first look video below.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes-Benz A Class
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes-Benz A Class
While the smallest Mercedes-Benz badged vehicle on sale in America might be the C-class, elsewhere in the world, you can buy even smaller models.
Our Canadian friends get to buy the B-class, while in Europe and Asia, you can buy an A-class. The A-class has been on sale for over a decade now, and at this years Geneva Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz will be launching the third-generation model of its smallest car.
This new model is based on Merc’s latest platform dubbed MFA (modular front architecture). Powering this new hatchback will be a range of petrol and diesel engines of 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter displacements (mostly carried over from the larger B-class), with power output ranging from 107-hp to 154-hp. That means, the new A-class will have much more performance than any outgoing model.
With this new A-class, Mercedes-Benz hopes to really take the fight to other premium-brand rivals who offer luxurious compact cars. Mercedes has also confirmed it intends to finally bring the A-Class to North America
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz A Class
Mercedes-Benz is going guerilla with its marketing tactics for the new A-Class by placing camouflaged cars around Germany stamped with QR (Quick Response) codes to give those lucky enough to scan them a chance at some prizes.
While that’s good news for a bunch of lucky Germans, the rest of us will have to settle for a new video showing the body shape, headlights and bits of bumper. The video is just a small teaser for the full reveal which will happen in Geneva this March.
If you’re in Germany and see one of the “specially marked” vehicles, whip out your smart phone and scan the code. It could lead to a visit to witness the A-Class debut in person.
Last month our spy photographers spotted a camo-wrapped A-Class being tested but we weren’t sure about the mechanical details. Since then we’ve learned that it will likely feature a 1.8-liter turbocharged four cylinder mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Most models will feature front-wheel drive, though the AMG variant will get 4Matic treatment.
Expect to hear about the A-Class hitting the road in Europe by the end of the year, but not in the U.S. until mid 2013. There will, however, be a four-door coupe hitting the American market based on the same drivetrain later this year.
We’ll be covering the A-Class reveal as well as other breaking news from Geneva starting on March 6.
Watch the promo video after the jump.
[Source: Motor Authority]
The past 20 years were pretty stable in the automotive industry. Mostly predictable releases with a steady rate for manufacturers to introduce new models that seemed like a consistant recipe for success.
Then, suddenly with the start of the current model year, things changed. In fact, it looks like this is just the start of a serious upswing in new releases. According to a story published on CNN Money, the auto industry replaced 16 percent of its fleet annually between 1991 and 2011.
That figure jumped to 23 percent with the 2012 model year, which started in October. Apparently keeping this fresh is the snake oil for successful car companies, because next year that number will grow to 32 percent, effectively doubling the rate new models hit the market. Given this manufacturer mayhem, we decided to round up the new cars you should expect to see soon.
Honda is an interesting case as they’ve recognized that their luxury brand, Acura, is simply being outdone by the competition at every turn. They decided to completely redesign their line to quell complaints that their cars are little more than rebadged Hondas. The first to look for: their new ILX compact sedan. As for Honda, they are already planning to release a new generation Civic after the media chastised them for an uninspired release.
Next up, Nissan. While they don’t hold a big market share in the U.S., Carlos Ghosn, their CEO is making plans to expand the 8.2 percent they have now to ten by 2015. In order to do that, they are revamping half of their entire line. Nissan is targeting the burgeoning EV market with their Leaf, which first became available last year. Look for updated Altimas, Sentras and Pathfinders in the near future.
Toyota suffered after the tsunami, but is coming back with a fury. The automaker is releasing a brand-new sports car, the FR-S, developed in partnership with Subaru and set to sell with a Scion badge. The RAV-4 and Lexus ES sedan will also get updates.
Chrysler will move toward smaller cars, something the brand has historically struggled with. The shrinkage can be attributed to Fiat, their new owners, and how their new 40 mpg Dodge Dart borrows heavily from the Italian engineers.
Ford and GM are trying to hang on to their chunky market shares, 17 and 19.7 percent respectively. Both companies are following the industry strategy: refreshing their popular sellers and releasing redesigned cars in their luxury brands. Look for a re-engineered Lincoln MKZ from Ford and Cadillac‘s new compact ATS and larger XTS sedans from GM.
Finally, there are some changes in the pipeline for German luxury cars. Audi just confirmed that their compact Q3 SUV will be sold in the U.S., along with the re-release of the compact A2 sedan. Mercedes-Benz is opting to offer their smaller B-Series and A-Series cars to remain competitive in the Yankee market.
[Source: CNN Money]
A while back we revealed that Infiniti‘s working on a new entry-level, FWD compact that would be based on Mercedes-Benz‘s A-Class platform. We now have news that Canadian-Austrian auto supplier Magna Steyr will be in charge of developing the entry-level model for Infiniti.
The final contract is expected to be agreed upon soon, allowing Magna to begin production at their factory in Graz, Austria starting in 2012. As we reported earlier, the new compact will be based on Mercedes-Benz’s MFA architecture which is seen in their A- and B-Class vehicles. Daimler will also be supplying preassembled complete parts to Infiniti.
According to sources, Infiniti’s new compact will be powered by Mercedes’s four- and six-cylinder powerplants, with diesel variants for the European market. The plan is to produce around 50,000 to 60,000 units a year in Graz, exporting them globally to compete against BMW‘s 1-Series and Audi‘s popular A3.
As mentioned earlier, Infiniti’s new FWD compact will be based on the Etherea Concept we saw at the Geneva Motor Show.
GALLERY: Infiniti Etherea Concept
[Source: Automotive News]
Infiniti‘s Etherea Concept, shown off earlier this year at Geneva, may become a reality thanks to its partnership with Mercedes-Benz. Car and Driver has reports that Infiniti will be using Mercedes-Benz’s A-Class platform to build their own entry-level luxury hatchback, leading to speculation that a production model based on the Etherea Concept is on Infiniti’s to-do list.
But with access to both Nissan and Renault parts, why would Infiniti want to turn to Mercedes? An Infiniti exec spoke about how the new model would be all about luxury, requiring better torsional rigidity, and much better NVH than you would put into a mass brand.
Infiniti won’t just be borrowing and simply using the A-Class platform though, their engineers will be working on setting it apart from the Mercedes. When we’ll actually see this new model is an unknown, but Infiniti could definitely use a little spice and excitement next year.
GALLERY: Infiniti Etherea Concept
Mercedes-Benz is celebrating after taking first place in three different categories in the Automotive Brand Contest 2011. The jury voted the Mercedes-Benz design team “Team of the year”. The automotive brand was also awarded the ultimate “Best of Best” plaudit to the Mercedes-Benz CLS in the Exterior category. The A-Class concept received “Best of Best” in the Interior area of the Concept & Study category.
The Automotive Brand Contest is the first international brand contest for the automotive industry. The independent institution organizes the competition exclusively for the automotive sector, to acknowledge outstanding design.
Mercedes-Benz design director professor h.c Gorden Wagener said, “We are all delighted to receive this valuable award in recognition of a magnificent joint effort,”. “Everyone in our team works with great dedication day-in, day-out to ensure that the Mercedes-Benz models of the future retain their distinctive, hallmark Mercedes character in keeping with the very highest aesthetic standards.”
The awards will be presented at the Automotive Designers Night on September 13 at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
You won’t have to squint that hard, however, as most of the elements made it through production: the forward-leaning grille, the low greenhouse, and the pseudo-Nike-swoosh down its flanks. The overall look has been rendered less swoopy and more production-friendly, including the turbine-look wheels replaced for big, clunky split-spokes. The A-Class will make it to America in sedan and five-door models, while the rest of the world gets a three-door hatchback as well.
[Source: The Torque Report]
Above is a leaked design sketch of what the upcoming Mercedes A-Class may just look like. It’s not yet clear if this look is the final choice by Mercedes, but if it is, it’s obvious the company is taking the A-Class is a bold new direction and away from the urban runabout model currently sold in Europe.
Expected to debut soon (possibly as early as the Frankfurt Auto Show later this year), the A-Class is likely to be offered as both a 3-door hatchback (shown) and a 5-door model as well.
Previous reports suggest Mercedes is planning a 270-hp AMG version of the car, although it’s not yet clear if it will be billed as a high-performance A-Class or as a different model altogether. One possibility is that it will wear the CLC badge, borrow styling from the CLS and actually make its way to North Ameirca as the brand’s new entry-level sedan under the current C-Class range – and with Audi now planning an A3 sedan, that possibility seems more likely.
In the past, if you wanted a hopped-up version of an A-Class Mercedes you’d have to talk to one of the many German tuners, like Brabus. But according to a new report Mercedes will develop its own high-performance version of the upcoming A-Class under the AMG brand. Targeting the Volkswagen Golf R, this new model is part of a larger plan by Mercedes to challenge VW’s dominance in the lower end of the segment, with several new A and B-Class models including hatchbacks, sedans and even a possible compact or sub-compact crossover.
According to AutoCar, the A-Class AMG model will use all-wheel drive (a new system being developed for the GLC crossover) as well as a supercharged 4-cylinder to make as much as 270-hp and even feature a dual-clutch transmission. That AWD system will reportedly have a rear-bias to deliver a more sporting feel to the small performance car.
AMG’s new boss, Ola Källenius, says the car will mark, “the beginning of a new direction for the company and will expose AMG to a whole new, younger and more dynamic customer base.”
Due out around 2012, Mercedes is expected to deliver the AMG version of its new A-Class first as a 5-door hatchback and later as a four-door coupe, possibly called the CLC and designed to mimic the style of the larger CLS. This mode would then be brought to North America to slot in underneath the C-Class in Mercedes’ lineup.
AMG has made its mark in the auto industry by building immensely powerful engines to propel large and luxurious Mercedes-Benz models to unimaginable speeds. But with Merc now looking at the lower end of the market, AMG is being forced to do so as well. AMG, however, has its own plans.
A report by Motor Trend suggests that AMG will completely re-engineer the new Mercedes small car platform, transforming it into a rear-drive platform in order to build a proper performance machine. That sounds expensive to us, but with the premium those AMG folks are likely to ask and the huge increase in sales this is likely to bring, it may just be a viable business plan.
Mercedes is currently working on its new front-drive small car platform that will underpin a total of five new vehicles. The first models we are expected to see are all-new versions of the A-Class and B-Class. It is expected that the new B-Class will be sold in the U.S. and according to MT’s inside source, the AMG version is likely to be powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder.
[Source: MotorTrend via Autoblog]