AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
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.
The Mercedes A-Class used to be a cheap and cheap-looking urban runabout. It also used to be sold only overseas. But not any more.
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the new A-Class is a stylish hatchback with plenty of impressive tech features and… it’s coming to America.
Find out more by watching AutoGuide’s first look video below.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes A-Class
The new Mercedes-Benz A Class is set to be officially uncovered at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show next week. Nevertheless, another photo has floated its way into our midst, this time from a Hungarian automotive website.
The back end on this A Class seems to be modified from what we would expect to see on a regular Mercedes-Benz. The tip off comes from the large-looks wheels, and the added bumper air vents. The styling in this photo looks to be the same as the A-Class styling we saw in the first unofficial A-Class shots, and may be the AMG variant, or just an aero package outfitted at the factory.
We can’t be sure if this is the AMG, but the news will be out soon enough when Mercedes shows us its new A-Class next week. Then again, considering current trends, the suspected AMG is missing the quad exhaust tips that most current AMGs have.
Interior shots of the A-Class were released by Mercedes as well, and show off the new infotainment setup and interior design.
Stay tuned to AutoGuide for live coverage from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
The company is enlisting help from its own High Performance Powertrains (HPP) affiliate, which focuses on building F1 racing engines for the Mercedes team, among others. The A25 will get a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder which is based on the exisitng M271/M274 gas engine.
HPP called on its engine designers to come up with a product able to outshine the 2012 Audi RS3 Sportback’s 335-hp five-cylinder and the BMW M135i’s 316 hp straight six. Accomplishing that won’t be easy considering both the Audi and BMW can both bank on larger engine displacement to meet the mark.
This turbo 2.0L is also slated to find its way into CLC25 AMG and the CLC25 Shooting Brake AMG.
We’ll have to wait and see if Mercedes achieves the power that they are forecasting.
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
Although the luxury vehicle market in that country is still growing (projections forecast about 20 percent over last year for 2011), both the Munich and Stuttgart based concerns together, sold a total of 102,497 vehicles during the first quarter of this year, an increase of some 76 percent from the year before.
China’s economy grew 10.3 percent in the last year, the fastest rate increase since 2007 and despite Government calls to curb ‘Hedonistic Spending’ and unclog the roads, it looks like sales of luxury cars will likely continue to rise, putting China ahead of the U.S. for the first time in terms of premium car volume.
According to Klaus Maier, who runs Daimler’s Chinese operations, demand currently outstrips supply for Mercedes-Benz models and with the factories in Germany running at full capacity, the company is looking to expand local production in China.
However, despite the apparent increase in wealthy and upper middle-class Chinese, there are also signs that the gap between rich and poor is widening – the Gini coefficient, which is used to measure income distribution, has climbed from 0.3 in the mid-1980s to 0.5 today.
Whether China can sustain such rapid economic growth remains to be seen, nevertheless luxury car makers are constantly looking at new ways to entice buyers. Lexus has hired Kobe Bryant as the spokesman for its smaller models in China, while both BMW and Mercedes are doing their best to peddle cars aimed at a younger demographic, the introduction of the 1-Series and A and B-Class models being prime examples.
So far it appears that the strategy is working; in the case of Mercedes, A, B and C-Class models accounted for more than a third of total M-B sales in China last year, according to a statement issued by Daimler AG.
[Source: Automotive News]
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Announcing that it’s serious about bringing a premium small car to America, Mercedes unveiled the A-Class Concept at the New York Auto Show. Powered by a turbocharged direct-injection 2.o-liter 4-cylinder making 210-hp, this look at the next-generation A-Class is a strong indication of just how different the car will be from the current pedestrian model.
Mercedes did not give an indication of just when the new A-Class would see production, but execs weren’t shy about the hopes Benz has for the premium small car segment.
Watch the video for more and see AutoGuide’s full NY Auto Show coverage here.