2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class and B-Class E-Cell Plus Concept: Frankfurt Auto Show 2011

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its second-generation B-Class at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show along with a concept for an E-Cell version of the front-wheel drive compact sport tourer.

The new B-Class is almost two inches shorter than the previous version yet has more leg room thanks to a lowered floor. The seats are also more upright but still offer a lot of head room.

European customers will have the choice of two new gasoline and two diesel options, all with ECO start/stop. The turbocharged 1.6 liter B 180 offers 122 hp while the B 200 version offers 156 hp. The 1.8 liter diesel options include the B 180 CDI with 109 hp and the B 200 CDI with 136 hp. B-class models will come with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a new 7-speed dual clutch transmission.

New safety features include a radar-based collision warning system with brake assist designed to reduce rear-end collisions. Other features include adaptive headlamp assist, blind spot and lane keeping assists, a reversing camera, active parking assist and the Pre-Safe preventive occupant protective system. First introduced in S-Class models in 2002, the Pre-Safe system automatically tightens seat belts and closes side windows and the sliding sun roof in emergency situations.

Mercedes-Benz also introduced an E-Cell Plus electric concept version of the B-class with a range extender. The B-Class E-Cell Plus’ lithium-ion battery provides a range of 100 km (62 miles) on electric power with the three-cylinder gasoline-powered engine extends the range to 600 km (372 miles). Mercedes-Benz plans to produce the B-Class E-Cell Plus in 2014.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz B-Class

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz B-Class E-Cell Concept

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

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 1 comment
  • Peter Ms Peter Ms on Sep 14, 2011

    What is it now? It's too low to be a crossover, too high to be a hatch. Those people who crave a high driving position will now bypass it, those who want a hatch will find it ungainly. It's sort of a stumpy small station wagon.