The next generation A-Class and B-Class are scheduled to be launched in 2011. And the company had big expectations from the future model, as they made quite some changes to the cars.
According to a German newspaper, Mercedes is "working on a complete new concept" for its supermini- and small family-sized ranges, with small coupes and cabriolets under consideration as well as hatchbacks, an MPV and even a mini-SUV.
Both future models will be built on the rear-wheel-drive C-Class platform in order to make them sportier and more able to compete with cars like BMW 1-Series, Audi A3 and upcoming Saab 9-2 for the B-Class and Alfa MiTo, Audi A1 for the A-Class.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class with fuel-cell drive has passed its winter testing in northern Sweden with flying colours. At double-digit, below-zero temperatures, the zero-emission drive showed what it could do in the comprehensive test programmes. For example, cold start behaviour was subjected to thorough scrutiny. Although Daimler Research had already found a technical solution to the fuel cell’s start capability at -25 degrees Celsius, the engineers’ focus here was on the interaction between the different components under real-life winter conditions.
Mercedes will be launching the first series vehicle with a local, zero-emission fuel-cell drive in the summer of 2010. Small-series production of the B-Class F-CELL will commence in early 2010. A new generation of fuel-cell drive will be used to power this innovative vehicle. It is much more compact, while at the same time offering greater performance and is completely suitable for everyday use.
After three successful years, Mercedes-Benz has overhauled the design and engineering of the B-Class. The facelift programme focused on environmental compatibility, economic efficiency and comfort, with further advances being made in each of these areas. Thanks to a series of detailed improvements, the four-cylinder engines now burn up to seven percent less fuel than previously, and distinguish themselves with remarkably low exhaust emissions that undercut the current EU limits by as much as 90 percent.
Mercedes-Benz has developed a new ECO start/stop function for the high-volume B 150 and B 170 models. This switches off the engine when stopped at traffic lights, for example, producing a fuel saving of up to nine percent in practical use. Additional new developments include the bi-fuel petrol/natural-gas drive in the B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY, along with active parking assist which helps drivers to both find a suitable parking spot, and then manoeuvre into it.
The B-Class continues to be available with a choice of six engines – two direct-injection diesel units (109 hp and 140 hp) delivering up to 300 Nm of torque, as well as four petrol engines with a peak power output of up to 193 hp and a maximum torque of 280 Nm. The four-cylinder power units have undergone a series of detailed improvements in order to further reduce fuel consumption.
A further new addition to the B-Class range bears the initials "NGT" on the right-hand side of its tailgate. They stand for "Natural Gas Technology" and identify a model variant which is as economical as it is environmentally compatible, courtesy of its bi-fuel drive: the B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY is able to run on both natural gas and premium grade petrol while delivering an identical maximum output of 116 hp.
Mercedes B-Class’s sales are pretty good, but the competition is also pretty tough. To remain leader in the category, Mercedes needs to take attitude. And they will! A four-wheel drive model will follow, and also a 300 hp AMG version starting 2012.
Mercedes-Benz will be using the BMW engine developed for the Mini in its next generation of B Class small cars, according to a report in AutoBild, a German motoring magazine. This means that Mercedes likely will not be using engines sourced from Fiat, though Fiat’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne still seemed hopeful that the company would reach a sourcing deal with Mercedes . The new B Class is due as a 2011 model, replacing both the current B Class and the current A Class with a line up including (...) More
Mercedes has announced today that the B-Class will available for the first time on the US market. The B-Class will be redesigned in 2011 or 2012 and prototypes will include a model that would meet North American regulatory requirements.
Just as the values, goals, lifestyles and interests of people change, so their expectations of the automobile change accordingly. The experience factor is gaining in importance, but comfort, practicality, attractiveness and performance are also expected. These are attributes that present vehicle concepts can only offer in part.