Mercedes-Benz A-Class – the next generation


Mercedes-Benz A-Klasse (W 176) 2015Mercedes-Benz A-Class (W 176With the new generation of the A-Class, Mercedes-Benz reconciles the conflicting aims of sporty performance and enhanced comfort thanks to the Dynamic Select function which allows the driver to change the car’s characteristics in just seconds. At the touch of a button the A-Class drives in a particularly comfortable, sporty or efficient manner.

Mercedes has also increased the range of available engines. The new efficiency champion is the 109bhp A 180 d with CO2 emissions of 89 g/km. Also new to the range is the A 220 d 4MATIC.

The new-generation A-Class can be ordered from Friday with the first models in dealer showrooms at the end of September.

Ola Källenius, of Mercedes-Benz, said: “2012 was a year of paradigm change in the compact class. The new A-Class was a radical departure from the preceding series. And a successful one. As the most progressive model in the compact class, the model series has done much to make the Mercedes-Benz brand more youthful. With this model facelift we are now meeting the wishes of many customers for even more comfort with no loss of dynamic performance.

“In addition, with AppleCarPlay and MirrorLink the A-Class has taken the next step for comprehensive and intuitive smartphone integration.”

Striking lines, dynamically curved surfaces and coupé-like windows characterise the exterior of the A-Class. The form of the new, more arrow-shaped front bumper takes its lead strongly from the Concept A-Class of 2011. With a diamond grille, new LED high performance headlamps (optional extra) and newly designed rear lights with exhaust tailpipes integrated into the bumper, the new generation emphasises the sportiness and dynamism of the successful compact class series.

Mercedes-Benz A-Klasse (W 176) 2015 Mercedes-Benz A-Class (W 176An instrument cluster of tubular design with high-quality dial graphics and galvanised switches upgrades the quality interior, as does the large, free-standing and frameless display of the head unit, which is now to be had with a larger screen diagonal of  eight inches – standard on Sport and AMG Line. New colours and materials, as well as new finishes for the trim in the dashboard, ensure a fresh ambience.

Optional LED high performance headlamps and ambience lighting which can be individualised with 12 colours and five dimming levels – the equipment range for the A-Class has been judiciously expanded in many areas. Also new is seat cushion depth adjustment by up to 60mm which is a standard feature on all models.

The new efficiency champion is the 109bhp A 180 d SE, which is happy with an NEDC fuel consumption of 80mpg. Its CO2 emissions are 89 g/km. And the A 220 d is now 7bhp more powerful than before with 177bhp.

Mercedes-Benz is also using the A-Class model facelift as the opportunity to introduce the new nomenclature for the drive variants in this model series. While the petrol models have no suffix, the small letter “d” replaces the previous “CDI” – so the A 200 CDI is now called the A 200 d, for example.

With Dynamic Select the vehicle characteristics can be adjusted in seconds at the touch of a button, as the system modifies the engine, transmission, suspension, steering and air conditioning at the driver’s behest. The four driving modes Comfort, Sport, Eco and Individual can be conveniently selected using the switch in the upper control array.

Dynamic Select allows a particularly broad range of setting options in combination with the new suspension with adaptive damping. In this case the driver is able to modify the vehicle’s damping characteristics using the Dynamic Select switch. There is a choice between Comfort mode with comfortable damping characteristics and Sport mode for a sporty and more taut damper set-up. Acceleration sensors are used to measure the vehicle’s body movements, and other current information about the vehicle status such as the steering angle, steering speed and yaw rate is included when calculating the damping characteristics. A proportional valve is actuated electronically at each shock absorber to control the oil flow and therefore the damping characteristics. The damping system is infinitely variable and the configuration is individual for each wheel.

The new-generation A-Class is also the first Mercedes-Benz model to be available with comprehensive smartphone integration – from the beginning of 2016 the infotainment systems Apple, CarPlay and MirrorLink will become available.

In the case of, for example, Apple CarPlay the system supports telephoning, navigation and listening to music, receiving and sending SMS and emails as well as Siri voice control. To avoid distracting the driver during a journey, only the relevant smartphone content is displayed on-screen.

Mercedes-Benz A-Klasse (W 176) 2015 Mercedes-Benz A-Class (W 176At the same time the new generation telematics are being introduced into the A-Class. Operation is now even more intuitive, with the functions accompanied by animated menus and visual depictions on the even larger display in the head unit.

With numerous driving assistance systems from the drowsiness detection system Attention Assist to Distronic Plus distance control, the A-Class is able to give its driver comprehensive support and protection. Some of the assistance systems have been revised. For example, the standard Collision Prevention Assist Plus extends the functions of the previous Collision Prevention Assist (radar supported proximity warning and braking assistance by Adaptive Brake Assist) with autonomous partial braking to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.

The drowsiness detection system Attention Assist, which is standard, has been similarly upgraded. It operates within an extended speed range (37 to 124mph) and now uses a five-stage bar display to visualise the driver’s current attention level.

Apart from their distinctive look, the new LED High Performance headlamps offer added safety at night thanks to their wide beam pattern and light of a colour similar to daylight.

The new generation of the A-Class entered the market in September 2012. Owing to the great success enjoyed by this model around the world, it is manufactured not only in Rastatt, but, since August 2013, also by the Finnish production specialist Valmet Automotive. Unit sales soared by over 46% in Great Britain last year, and by more than 51% in the growth market of China. However, most A-Class models continue to be sold to customers in Germany.







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