Rabu, 07 Maret 2012

Geneva Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Mercedes A-Class

The all-new Mercedes A-class has been officially revealed at the Geneva motor show. The third-generation model has a conventional hatchback silhouette and forgoes the tall, one-box MPV-like statue of previous versions.

The A-class will be priced from around £24,000 and pitches into direct competition with the new Audi A3, BMW 1-series and Europe’s perennial best seller, the Volkswagen Golf.

Sitting on the German car maker’s new MFA (modular front architecture) platform, the new car has been re-engineered from the ground up. “It’s completely new, down to the last detail,” says Mercedes boss, Dieter Zetsche.

The latest A-class adopts a heavily sculptured look with a bullish front end dominated by wide, two slat grille, angular LED flaunting headlamps and distinctive bumper styling, a relatively short bonnet owing to the transverse placement of its engines, prominent feature lines along the flanks, rising waistline and a rear end bookmarked by uncharacteristic (for Mercedes) shaped LED taillamps and angled rear window shadowed by a large spoiler within the top of the tailgate.

Dimensionally, the new A-class is greatly altered over the model it replaces; length is up by 487mm at 4292mm, width increases by 15mm to 1780mm and height drops a considerable 163mm. A claimed drag co-efficient of just 0.26 is class-leading.

Mercedes-Benz chief, Dieter Zetsche told Autocar he expects half of all A-class sales to go to newcomers to the brand. He said: "This is not just a rational car but emotional and technological one too. The styling wows you and the connectivity is unrivalled. New buyers will come to the family, perhaps younger ones, young at heart ones and more women."

He likened the expected success of the A-class to that of the SLK, which achieved market dominance when it launched in 1996

The new A-class eschews the under floor mounted engines previous models. They are replaced by new range four-cylinder engines – all offered in other Mercedes’ or sourced from alliance partner, Renault.

The petrol units use a combination of turbocharging and direct-injection. Kicking off proceedings is a base 1.6-litre from Renault. It delivers 113bhp and 108lb ft of torque in the A180. Further up the line-up is the widely used M270 engine. It comes in two different states of tune: 154bhp and 184lb ft in the A200 and a Volkswagen Golf GTI equaling 208bhp and 257lb ft in the A250.

Thanks to: Autocar

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