Mercedes-Benz unveils the all-new A-Class

Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off the all-new, fourth-generation A-Class at an exclusive event held in Amsterdam, Netherlands last evening.

Despite still being the least expensive model in the portfolio, the new A-Class is a crucial launch for the German luxury car-maker, packing in several ‘firsts’ for the brand. Spearheading an all-new expanded compact car range that’s set to grow to eight models over the next three years, the new A is a sign of things to come at the lower end of the Mercedes-Benz spectrum. Add to that the current A-Class and its derivatives – the CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, GLA and B-Class – accounted for one in four of all Mercedes-Benz models sold last year, it’s not hard to fathom why the top honchos at the car-maker went all out to ensure the new A-Class gets all the attention.

When it first debuted in 1997, the A-Class didn’t look like the rest of the Mercedes-Benz lineup. To put it bluntly, its styling did not convey a sense of class and luxury you would expect from a Merc. Over the years though, the diminutive hatchback grew in stature as well as proportions. The third-generation A-Class that debuted in 2012, for instance, was significantly bigger compared to its predecessors and looked a million bucks.

The new A is no different. Sporting the brand’s new fascia that debuted in the CLS recently, this car is a looker. Sharp triangular headlights sit on either side of an inverted trapezoidal grille adorned with the trademark 'jewel-effect' pins. A muscular hood with prominent V-shaped ridges and a sporty bumper sandwich the grille. The profile has been cleaned up and is now characterized by a prominent shoulder line that runs the length of the car. The bold swoosh-shaped crease of the outgoing A-Class has been done away with. Thick C-pillars, the integrated roof spoiler and the beefy rear bumper complete with air curtains and built-in exhaust tips look swell. The taillights match the profile of the headlights. 

That said, there is no escaping the fact the new A-Class has been toned down a fair bit in what Mercedes-Benz calls "Sensual Purity". 

The official press release from Mercedes-Benz had a statement that said 'There's not much entry-level in the entry-level A-Class anymore'. Nothing reaffirms that statement as much as the interiors of the new A-Class do. Not only does the cabin looks like that of its more expensive siblings, it also debuts the car-maker's newest infotainment system. Dubbed MBUX, in short for Mercedes-Benz User Experience, this contemporary next-generation user interface finally replaces the outdated COMMAND system and is set to find its way to all Mercedes-Benz models. 

With a high-resolution widescreen cockpit that grabs eyeballs with its two 10.25-inch touchscreens, the system can be awoken by just saying 'Hey Mercedes'. With Artificial Intelligence finding its way in, indirect speech - the way we talk to fellow humans for example - can also be used to control the car's various functions. The rotary COMMAND controller has been replaced by a touchpad that functions in tandem with touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel. The center console itself has been redesigned and feature contemporary rocker switches for the climate control.

The initial lineup of engines include two petrol mills - a 1.4-liter unit producing 163 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque and a 2.0-liter unit that churns out 224 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque - and a 1.5-liter diesel engine that makes 116 horsepower and 260 Nm of torque. Mated to this trio of inline 4-cylinder engines is a 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission. 

As you would expect from a car of this class, a full suite of active and passive safety features are standard on every A-Class, irrespective of the variant and trim level being chosen. In what comes as a knock-out punch, the new A-Class is also being offered with a semi-autonomous drive feature called 'Intelligent Drive', a staple of the S-Class segment not so long ago.

In what has now become a Mercedes-Benz regular, the new A-Class would be available in an exclusive 'Edition 1' to commemorate its launch. The exterior gets AMG add-ons, a diamond grille with black-coloured pins and green-coloured highlights. The same 'Edition Green' colour has also been used in the seats and the dashboard to set this model apart.

With over 3 million units sold thus far and a youthful brand image, the A-Class has been a significant volume-puller and image-builder for Mercedes-Benz. When it goes on sale later this year, the new A-Class is all set to carry the legacy forward. Given the form Mercedes-Benz India has been in, we wouldn't be surprised if the new A gets to our shores this year.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah Most Useful Blog. Here I can get lot of useful information. I appreciate your work for wrote this blog for us. Thank you so much. Recently I bought spare parts @ Shiftautomobiles. They provide best services. You can also try this shop.