Inroducing The All-New 2013 A-Class
The heartbeat of a new generation was introduced by Mercedes-Benz at the Geneva Motor Show: the world premiere of the new A-Class. Mercedes-Benz is opening a whole new chapter in the compact segment: designs that evoke emotions powered by extremely efficient engines ranging from 109 to 211 HP while remaining the safest cars on the planet.
"A new Mercedes must take the lead, in technical terms, in every class of vehicle. Whether we're talking about efficiency, driving dynamics or safety: the new A-Class raises the benchmark significantly. Pure driving enjoyment, plus exemplary efficiency - from a technical perspective that is the quintessence of the A-Class." Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development
"A is for Attack: the A-Class is a clear statement of the new dynamism of the Mercedes-Benz brand", explains Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "It is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development, it's not often you get the chance to start with a clean sheet of paper. Our engineers and designers have made the very most of that opportunity."
The small car segment is utilitarian in nature. This segment is loaded with "cheap, get the job done at the lowest possible cost" type vehicles. The goal of Mercedes-Benz is to redefine the segment and give buyers the option to go upscale with a small vehicle. Nothing about this vehicle is cheap. The exterior design, interior, even the ads say "this is a Mercedes-Benz".
The design changes are obvious. It's a fresh new interpretation of the classic two-box design. "Applying the new dynamic style of Mercedes-Benz to the compact class was a challenge that we thoroughly enjoyed", explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. "The almost sculptural lines of the A-Class are very typical for Mercedes. The feature lines, particularly along the sides of the car, then give the A-Class structure and tautness."
The interior design complements the sporty look of the exterior. In addition, the car has a high-quality feel about it that is unique in this segment. Mercedes-Benz, achieved both through design and high-quality materials. As seen in the Concept A-CLASS, there is an option allowing a smartphone to be fully integrated into the operating and display system. A special app makes it possible to use the full functionality of the iPhone®, and in due course other smartphones, in the car.
All trim surfaces feature an electroplated finish in silver chrome, giving them a genuine metallic surface with "cool touch" effect. "This is just one example of the way in which the quality of the A-Class's interior is not defined by classic trim elements but by consistent design and by the specific materials used", explains Hartmut Sinkwitz, Head of Interior Design. "The motto we used when designing the interior was 'pure sportiness, newly interpreted'."
Some particular visual highlights include the air vents, which stand out like "sparkling jewels" said Hartmut Sinkwitz, and underlie the exceptional quality of the interior. The vehicle's sporty character is further emphasized by the integral seats (an optional extra) in the front. The rear seat is similarly sporty in appearance and can accommodate up to three passengers.
Sport. No really, the compact class is getting a performance car
As with most Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the new A-Class can be individualized with a wide range of options. The choice of design and equipment lines fall into three basic areas: "Urban", "Style" and "AMG Sport".
For the first time, the performance specialists from AMG were involved in the development of a compact class vehicle from a very early stage. The result is the A-Class Sport 'engineered by AMG'. The visual clues are evident - especially with the new diamond grille. The A-Class Sport features exclusive 5-spoke 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with 235/40 R18 tires at all four corners. They are painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, and combined with red-painted brake calipers. These visual clues point to the dynamic driving qualities of the A 250 Sport and the A 220 CDI Sport. What is not visually perceptible is the AMG-developed suspension, which also comes standard on these models.
Other visual clues include hints of red on the AMG front and rear valences. The contrast between black trim and red accents are also in the interior. The steering wheel, seat belts and seats have contrasting decorative topstitching in this same bright shade. The ambient lighting of the instruments and air vent highlight rings are similarly red.
New Gasoline and Diesel-powered engines
A broad range of gas and diesel engines has something to suit every performance requirement.
The gasoline engines range from 1.6 to 2.0 liters. The A 180 has 115 HP, the A 200 has 156 HP, and the A 250 has 211 HP. The engines utilize direct injection and turbochargers. Direct injection allows for a more efficient combustion process and an extended fuel stratification range for lean-burn operation. This is made possible by fast-acting injectors with multiple injection pulses as well as on-demand multi-spark ignition. CAMTRONIC is an innovation that will make its debut in the 1.6-liter engine. CAMTRONIC adjusts valve lift on the intake side, restricting the amount of fresh mixture used in the partial load range, reducing consumption.
The diesel engines also offer an impressively high level of efficiency and environmental compatibility. As with their gasoline counterparts, this is also made possible with sophisticated injection technology and turbocharging. The A 180 CDI produces 109 HP and 184 foot pounds of torque, while the A 200 CDI has a maximum output of 136 HP and 221 foot pounds of torque. The range topping A 220 CDI has a displacement of 2.2 liters with 170 HP and 258 foot pounds of torque.
All engines in the new A-Class feature the ECO start/stop function. The engines can be combined either with the new six-speed manual transmission or, as an option, with the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Further highlights: suspension, aerodynamics, safety
The suspension has been completely reworked. The new A-Class has a noticeably lower center of gravity and a new 4-link rear axle. Various suspension configurations are available, among them being the optional sports suspension with Direct-Steer system. The electromechanical steering in the A-Class has been completely redesigned, so that the electric motor for the power assistance now sits directly on the steering gear in the form of a compact and extremely precise Dual Pinion EPS.
The A-Class has exceptional aerodynamic performance, with a new record Cd value of 0.26. This puts the A-Class at the top of its class. This is further helped by the standard roof spoiler, which hides the somewhat unsightly aerials.
The A-Class is the only vehicle in its class to feature a standard a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist. The COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system gives a visual and audible warning to alert a possibly distracted driver to obstacles. In addition, it prepares Brake Assist for the most precise braking response possible. Brake Assist is initiated as soon as the driver steps firmly on the brake pedal.
The PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system also is now available in the A-Class. This innovation, which was introduced in the 2002 S-Class, makes its very first appearance in the compact class. Core features of PRE-SAFE® are reversible belt tensioning, the closing of side windows and sliding sunroof in case of critical lateral dynamics and adjusting the fully electric front passenger seat to an ideal position for maximum restraint systems effectiveness. PRE-SAFE® is automatically activated in response to critical longitudinal and lateral dynamics.
Other A-Class safety features include: