Mercedes-Benz plans to launch the new A-Class Saloon at the end of this year, after its presentation to the public at the Paris Motor Show (4th – 14th October).
The four-door saloon has the proportions of a compact car, with short overhangs at the front and rear and is at the top of its segment with regard to rear headroom. Features include efficient engines, a high level of safety thanks to “state-of-the-art driving assistance systems with S-Class functions”, and the intuitive Mercedes-Benz User Experience infotainment system.
“In response to the wish of many customers, we now offer the A-Class for the first time also as a saloon car”, says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales.
The manufacturers say the A-Class Saloon offers above-average shoulder, elbow and headroom plus the easy access to the rear. The boot holds 420 litres and the boot opening is large to allow ‘comfortable loading and unloading of larger luggage items’.
With just 0.22 Cd the car has the lowest aerodynamic drag of all production vehicles worldwide.
One diesel and one petrol engine will be available from launch: the latter is a 200 (120 kW/163 hp, 250 Nm) with 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission and combined fuel consumption of 5.4-5.2 l/100 km, with combined CO2 emissions of 124-119 g/km; the 180 diesel (85 kW/116 hp, 260 Nm) also has 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission and combined fuel consumption of 4.3-4.0 l/100 km, with combined CO2 emissions of 113-107 g/km.
Standard features on the entry-level model include the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system with touchscreen, and driving assistance systems like Active Brake Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist. If desired, the car can be customised with Style, Progressive and AMG Lines, a ‘Night Package’ and other optional equipment.
One option is the KEYLESS-GO Convenience Package with HANDS-FREE ACCESS which enables hands-free and fully automatic opening of the boot lid with a kicking motion of the foot under the rear bumper.
The front has an elongated bonnet with slimline headlamps and torch-like daytime driving lights.
Two-part tail lamps emphasises width and the rear reflectors have been relocated to the rear bumper.
The interior has been redefined to give a new feeling of spaciousness. The designers completely dispensed with a cowl above the cockpit to give the dashboard an avant-garde feel: the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extends from one front door to the other ‘with no visual discontinuity’.
The completely new MBUX “ushers in a new era for Mercedes me connectivity”. A unique feature is its ability to ‘learn’ thanks to artificial intelligence; it is customisable and adapts to the user.
The car has the latest driving assistance systems with functions adopted from the S‑Class. For the first time, the A-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this, it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation: improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 500 metres ahead.
Expanded Active Brake Assist is standard: depending on the situation, it can help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions when there are slower-moving, braking or stationary vehicles ahead – or prevent them altogether.
Active Lane Keeping Assist is able to warn the driver by means of pulsed vibrations in the steering wheel when the vehicle is unintentionally drifting out of its lane at speeds between 60 and 200 km/h. If the vehicle passes over a solid line, it can pull the vehicle back into lane by applying the brakes on one side. In the case of a dotted line, such intervention takes place only when there is a danger of collision with a vehicle in the adjacent lane (including oncoming traffic).
The new A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to have been developed at the new Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety (TFS). The design of the vehicle structures incorporates findings from research into real accidents. Each body shell component was developed according to the loads and stresses encountered, “with respect to geometry, material thickness, joining technology and material quality”.
The centrepiece of the body’s safety concept is the rigid passenger compartment, made from high-strength, ultra-high-strength and press-hardened sheet steel which give great rigidity when subjected to accident-induced stress like frontal, lateral or rear-end collisions and rollovers.
There are driver and front passenger airbags, a driver’s knee airbag and window airbags as standard. Thorax-pelvis side airbags are likewise standard in the front, and available as optional equipment for the rear.
The car comes with halogen headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lamps as standard, but the optional ‘multibeam’ LED headlamps are another example of the technology transfer from the luxury to the compact class. They allow “extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation”. Each headlamp features 18 individually actuated LEDs, and Mercedes says the daylight-like light colour of the LEDs is easy on the eyes and has a positive effect on concentration.
There is a choice of suspension systems depending on engine variant and driver preference. The line-up of wheels ranges from 16 to 19 inches.