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Mercedes takes the A-Class on the offensive

POSTED BY admin ON 06 March 2012

Watch out Audi A3 and BMW 1-series, Mercedes-Benz is on the offensive with the new A-class, which was just unveiled ahead of its Geneva debut.

No longer the tall, compact city-box, which showcased ingenious packaging rather than youthful sportiness; Mercedes have realigned their sights and the A-class now follows the mainstream hatchback shape.

With the proportions borrowed from last year’s sleek A-class Concept and curves taken from the production B-class, the new A-class looks like a proper contender to the premium hatchback market.

For that Mercedes turned to their in-house tuning division, AMG, to lend some expertise early in the model’s development.

Underneath the A-class sports a new 4-link rear axle, which has been designed to accommodate a four-wheel drive system, while the electromechanical steering system has been redesigned so the power steering assistance sits directly on the steering gear in the form of a compact Dual Pinion EPS.

As expected of a hatchback destined for the youthful end of the demographics, the interior looks more sci-fi cool than gentlemen’s club somber, with all trim elements finished with an electroplated finish to give a pseudo-metal finish and that “cool to the touch” feel.

Powering the new hatchback would be a selection of three petrol engines, a 121hp 1.6-litre, a 2-litre version with 154hp and 208hp outputs, and three diesel engine variants with a 107hp, 134hp, and 168hp version.

To keep in tune with the times, all engines will come with a start/stop function and an optional 7-speed dual-clutch transmission to replace the six-speed manual.

Though the A-class is suppose to fit as an entry rung Mercedes, it still comes standard with a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive brake assist, a first , Mercedes boasts, for a car of its class.

Besides that the A-class comes fitted with pretty much every standard safety feature you might find in its bigger brothers such as PRE-SAFE, ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection, adaptive highbeam assist, blind spot and lane keeping assist, DISTRONIC PLUS cruise control, and LINGUATRONIC voice recognition feature.

All said and done, Mercedes-Benz didn’t care to mention which end is the A-class driven, but looking at the trend there is no reason to think that the A-class is other than front-wheel driven.

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