Image credits: © Mercedes-Benz.

2013 Mercedes-Benz A-Class news, pictures, specifications, and information

The new A-Class – the sporty compact model from Mercedes: 'All set for attack'

The heartbeat of a new generation: at the centre of Mercedes-Benz's presence at the Geneva Motor Show (8 to 18 March 2012) will be the world premiere of the new A-Class. The company is opening up a whole new chapter in the compact §egmènt: markedly emotive in design, wîth powerful engines ranging from 80 kW (109 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), and extremely efficient, wîth emissions from just 99 g/CO2/km. At the same time the new model underlines that for Mercedes-Benz safety is not a question of price - the standard specification includes, amongst other things, the radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system.

'A is for Attack: the A-Class is a clear statement of the new dynamism of the
Mercedes-Benz brand', explains Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. 'It is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development, it's not often you get the chance to start wîth a clean sheet of paper. Our engineers and designers have made the very most of that opportunity.'

Design and dynamism are obvious characteristics of the new A-Class even at first glance, simply in the way it sits up to 18 centimetres closer to the road than its predecessor. The radical new design idiom that was so enthusiastically received upon its first appearance wîth the 'Concept A-CLASS' has been rigorously applied for the series-production model. With their fresh interpretation of the classic two-box design, the Mercedes designers have created an emotive exterior wîth a pronounced sporty flair. 'Applying the new dynamic style of Mercedes-Benz to the compact class was a challenge that we thoroughly enjoyed', explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. 'The almost sculptural lines of the A-Class are very typical for Mercedes. The feature lines, particularly along the sides of the car, then give the A-Class structure and tautness.'

The objective when it came to the interior design was to complement the sporty look of the exterior. On top of this the car has a high-quality feel about it that is unique in this §egmènt, achieved both through the design idiom as such and through the choice and combinations of the high-quality materials used. As seen in the Concept A-CLASS, there is an option allowing a smartphone to be fully integrated into the operating and display system. A special app makes it possible to use the full functionality of the iPhone®, and in due course also of other smartphones, in the car.

All trim surfaces feature an electroplated finish in 'silver chrome', giving them a genuine metallic surface wîth 'cool touch' effect. 'This is just one example of the way in which the quality of the A-Class's interior is not defined by classic trim elements but by consistent design and by the specific materials used', explains Hartmut Sinkwitz, Head of Interior Design. 'The motto we used when designing the interior was 'pure sportiness, newly interpreted'.'

Particular visual highlights include, for example, the air vents, which stand out like 'sparkling jewels' (Sinkwitz), so underlining the exceptional quality of the interior. The sporty character of the vehicle is further emphasised by the integral seats (optional extra) in the front. The rear seat is similarly sporty in appearance and can accommodate up to three passengers.

As well as the basic specification, which can be individualised wîth a wide range of options, there is a choice of design and equipment lines that have been put together wîth the requirements of customers in mind: 'Úrban', 'Style' and 'AMG Sport'.

The world premiere of the new A-Class (length/width/height: 4292/1780/ 1433 millimetres) will take place at the Geneva Motor Show (8 to 18 March 2012). It will be making its way to European dealers in September 2012.

Sporty exclusivity: the A-Class Sport offers a fresh definition of dynamism

For the first time, the performance specialists from AMG were involved in the development of the compact class from a very early stage. The result is the most dynamic version of the new model series - the A-Class Sport 'engineered by AMG', in which the visual affinity to the Concept A-CLASS is at its most evident - particularly in terms of the new diamond grille. The A-Class Sport features exclusive 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a 5-spoke design wîth 235/40 R18 tyres all round and painted high-gloss black wîth a high-sheen finish, together wîth red-painted brake callipers. These give an indication of the particularly dynamic driving qualities of the A 250 Sport and the A 220 CDI Sport, which are differentiated, amongst other factors, by a special AMG-developed front axle and a suspension that has been configured to match.

Hints of red on the AMG front and rear aprons also serve to emphasise the expressive positioning of the new model. The contrast between black trim and additional accents in red continues in the interior: the contrasting decorative topstitching on the §teering wheel and seats is in this same bright shade, as are the seat belts. The ambient lighting of the instruments and the highlight rings of the air vents are similarly red.

Drive system: new petrol and diesel-powered engines

A broad range of both petrol and diesel engines has something to suit every performance requirement, whilst also demonstrating the current state of the art in terms of efficiency: for the first time, a Mercedes-Benz will produce emissions of just 99 g of CO2 per kilometre.

The bandwidth of the new generation of petrol engines wîth a displacement of 1.6 and 2.0 litres ranges from 90 kW (115 hp) in the A 180 and 115 kW (156 hp) in the A 200 through to 155 kW (211 hp) in the A 250. Common to all is the combination of direct injection and exhaust gas turbocharging, a more advanced combustion process and an extended stratification range for lean-burn operation that uses fast-acting injectors for the multiple injection of the fuel as well as on-demand multi-spark ignition. CAMTRONIC is an innovation that will be celebrating its world premiere in the 1.6-litre engine: adjusting the valve lift on the intake side restricts the amount of fresh mixture used in the partial load range, so reducing consumption.

The diesel engines also offer an impressively high level of efficiency and environmental compatibility, thanks to sophisticated injection technology and turbocharging. The A 180 CDI offers an output of 80 kW (109 hp) and a maximum torque of up to 250 Nm, while the A 200 CDI has a maximum output of 100 kW (136 hp) and torque that rises to 300 Nm. The A 220 CDI has a displacement of 2.2 litres, an output of 125 kW (170 hp) and torque of 350 Nm, delivering absolutely exceptional performance in the A-Class.

All engines in the new A-Class feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines can be combined either wîth the new six-speed manual transmission or, as an option, wîth the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)

Further highlights: suspension, aerodynamics, safety

The dynamism promised by the design and drive system is realised by the suspension. A noticeably lower centre of gravity and a new 4-link rear axle provide the basis for this; and would also make the installation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive possible. Customers can choose between various suspension settings, among them the optional sports suspension wîth Direct-Steer system. The electromechanical §teering in the A-Class has been completely redesigned, so that the electric motor for the power assistance now sits directly on the §teering gear in the form of a compact and extremely precise Dual Pinion EPS.

Its exceptional aerodynamic performance, wîth a new record Cd value of 0.26, puts the A-Class at the top of its class. This is further helped by the standard roof spoiler, which hides all the unsightly aerials on the A-Class.

The A-Class is the only vehicle in its class to feature as standard a radar-based collision warning system wîth adaptive Brake Assist, which lowers the risk of rear-end collisions. The COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system gives a visual and acoustic warning to alert a possibly distracted driver to identified obstacles, and prepares Brake Assist for the most precise braking response possible. This is initiated as soon as the driver steps firmly on the brake pedal.

The PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system is now available for the first time in the A-Class. This innovation, which was premiered in the S-Class in 2002, thus makes its very first appearance in the compact class. Core features of PRE-SAFE® are reversible belt tensioning, the closing of side windows and sliding sunroof in case of critical lateral dynamics and adjustment of the fully electric front passenger seat wîth memory function to an ideal position for maximum effectiveness of the restraint systems. PRE-SAFE® is always activated in response to critical longitudinal and lateral dynamics and may also be triggered upon intervention by certain assistance functions.

The democratisation of safety also encompasses an array of other assistance systems which have been adopted into the A-Class from the larger model series. These include:
• ATTENTION ASSIST (standard)

• Brake HOLD function (standard)

• Hill-Start Assist (standard)

• DISTRONIC PLÚS

• Adaptive Highbeam Assist

Vital Stats

6-speed Manual, 7-speed Automatic
• Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist


• Speed Limit Assist (speed limit sign recognition)

• Active Parking Assist

• LINGÚATRONIC

• Reversing camera


The Mercedes management team on the A-Class

'All set for attack'


'A is for Attack: the A-Class is a clear statement of the new dynamism of the
Mercedes-Benz brand. The A-Class is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development, it's not often you get the chance to start wîth a clean sheet of paper. Our engineers and designers have made the very most of that opportunity.'
Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

'A new Mercedes must take the lead, in technical terms, in every class of vehicle. Whether we're talking about efficiency, driving dynamics or safety: the new A-Class raises the benchmark significantly. Pure driving enjoyment, plus exemplary efficiency – from a technical perspective that is the quintessence of the A-Class.'
Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG,
responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development

'With the new A-Class, the company is opening up a whole new chapter in the compact §egmènt. The A-Class is the sporty Mercedes among the compact models. It's the right product at the right time - and has tremendous potential to tap into new target groups and markets.'
Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing

'No other car in this §egmènt is as progressive as the A-Class. The almost sculptural lines of the A-Class are very typical for Mercedes. The feature lines, particularly along the sides of the car, give the A-Class structure and tautness. This new dynamic style is also immediately apparent in the interior.'
Professor Dr h.c. Gorden Wagener, Head of Design, Mercedes-Benz Cars

'AMG was involved in the development of the A-Class right from the start. That is something very new in the compact §egmènt. You can see evidence of this in the
A-Class sports models, which bear the quality seal 'engineered by AMG'. And they live up to that promise, not only wîth their exceptional looks, but wîth their equally exceptional driving dynamics.'
Ola Kallenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH

The design

The most progressive design in the compact class


The appearance of the new A-Class reflects the new Mercedes-Benz design strategy. The result is what is known as a two-box design wîth a distinct character of its own, a sportily emotive exterior and an exceptionally high-quality feel to the interior.

Defined edges and tautly drawn surfaces mark out the exterior design of the new
A-Class. The constant interplay between concave and convex planes creates a characteristic play of light, particularly along the sides of the car, which contributes to its unique appearance.

Typical features of the long, sporty front are its pronounced V-shape, the separate headlamps, the radiator grille wîth central Mercedes star and double slats to either side of the star, as well as the additional air intakes on the sides. The 'dropping line' apparent in the side profile dissipates towards the vehicle's front end. The design of the headlamps, together wîth the configuration of the light functions within them, is a key element of the design concept.

The light modules and LEDs behind the headlamp cover glass have been arranged in such a way as to create the characteristic 'flare effect' for the daytime running lamps and indicators. The so-called 'flare' is made up of the feature line within the headlamp, the LED modules for the daytime running lamps and the bulb sets for the indicators. This signature effect gives the car its energetic look and so helps to define a new, youthful face for Mercedes.

The perfect interplay of dynamic design and excellent aerodynamics is nowhere more apparent than in the roof, wîth its smooth surfaces and taut, arcing curve. The silhouette reveals smooth, flowing lines finishing in a flat edge. The roof spoiler, which conveniently hides all the aerials, provides an extra sporty touch and gives structure to the roof assembly. The beltline rises to the rear to form a pronounced wedge-shape. The side view is distinguished by sensuously moulded sculptural side panels and distinctive lines. The front structural edge, above the wing, falls in what is known as a 'dropping line' in a gentle arc towards the rear. The powerfully shaped shoulder muscles above the rear axle serve to emphasise the car's coupé-like character. A further line sweeps up from just in front of the rear wheel arch, and then gently fades away. All these lines give depth and dynamism to the car's profile. Dynamic side sill panels provide a final finishing touch towards the bottom of the car, enhancing the appearance of elegant light-footedness.

The broad emphasis of the tail end is revealed in an interplay of convex-concave surfaces and edges. The tail lights continue the line of the muscular shoulders back towards the rear, while their horizontal orientation emphasises the car's powerful breadth. The light functions are provided by fibre-optic cables and LED modules. Here, too, the interaction between design and aerodynamics is very clear: the surface finish of the tail lights is not only an interesting design feature, but also improves the airflow around the vehicle thanks to defined airflow break-away edges in the rear section.

The interior: excellent high-quality feel and consistent application of design

The high-quality feel and sportiness of the car are continued in the interior. Both objectives have been achieved wîth the help of a specific design idiom and through the various combination options possible wîth the high-quality materials selected. All trim elements have been given an electroplated finish, resulting in real metal surfaces wîth 'cool touch' effect. The work has been executed wîth considerable care and attention to detail, so that they appear to have been moulded in one piece.

The instrument panel is clearly divided into a wing profile-type upper section and an aesthetically influenced lower section. The resulting effect is that the upper section appears to be supported by a 'muscle'. The manufacturing process used for this 'muscle' allows the creation of varying surface structures wîth soft tactile qualities. By using special films wîth three-dimensional structures it is possible to create a range of different surface finishes that permit an attractive play of light. The instrument panel incorporates five round vents, the outer rings of which have a high-quality electroplated finish. The airflow direction is governed by an insert that is reminiscent of an aircraft turbine and reveals a meticulous attention to detail. This too has an electroplated finish in 'silver chrome'. The free-standing display screen features a black piano-lacquer-look front panel and a flush-fitting silver frame.

The instrument cluster comprises two large round instruments, each of them wîth a small round instrument set within it. When at rest, the dial needles stand at 6 o'clock. The pointer inlays are generally white, although wîth the sportier design and equipment lines such as Úrban and AMG Sport they are in red. The dials on the sporty equipment lines and packages are coloured silver wîth a chequered flag effect. The 3-spoke §teering wheel comes wîth 12 function buttons and an electroplated bezel.

The centre dome and console, as well as the positioning of the various elements such as the head unit, lower control panel, air conditioning operating unit, stowage compartments, rotary push-button and armrest, reflect the findings of the ergonomics experts at Mercedes-Benz.

An extensive range of seat coverings, in terms of material (e.g. leather, fabric, Artico/fabric), colour combination and also geometry, provides scope for a broad range of individualisation options. Sports seats wîth integrated head restraints are available, for example, as an optional extra wîth all design and equipment lines. The sporty nature of the seats is emphasised by the opening between the upper edge of the seat backrest and the head restraint. On the back of the front seats this opening is edged wîth a frame in 'silver chrome' and, in conjunction wîth the Light and Sight package, can also feature ambient lighting.

As well as the basic specification, which can be individualised wîth a wide range of options, there is a choice of design and equipment lines that have been put together wîth the requirements of customers in mind: 'Úrban', 'Style' and 'AMG Sport'.

Source - Mercedes-Benz

The A-Class: The pulse of a new generation

With the new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz is opening up a new chapter in the compact §egmènt: markedly emotive in design, wîth powerful engines ranging from 80 kW (109 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), extremely efficient wîth emissions from just 98 g of CO2/km and a best-in-class drag coefficient of 0.27. At the same time the new model underlines that for Mercedes-Benz, safety is not a question of price – the standard specification includes, amongst other things, the radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system. Prices in Germany start at €23,978.50 (incl. 19% VAT) for the A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY.

'Mercedes-Benz is becoming the most dynamic premium brand in the world. As part of this development, the A-Class represents an important milestone. The A-Class is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development, it's not often you get the chance to start wîth a clean sheet of paper. Our engineers have made the very most of that opportunity', explains Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The design: the most progressive in the compact class

Standing as much as 160 millimetres lower on the road than the preceding
model, the new A-Class communicates design and dynamism at the very first glance. This radical form language, presented and enthusiastically acclaimed around the world wîth the Concept A-CLASS, was consistently implemented in the series production car. The appearance of the new A-Class reflects this new Mercedes-Benz design strategy. The result is what is known as a two-box design wîth a distinct character of its own, a sportily emotive exterior and an exceptionally high-quality feel to the interior.

'Translating the new dynamic style of Mercedes-Benz into the compact class was a challenge that was great fun to tackle', explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. 'No other car in this §egmènt is as progressive as the A-Class. Absolutely typical for Mercedes is the sculptural shape of the A-Class. The character lines, in particular on its sides, lend the A-Class structure and terseness. The new dynamic style is perceptible at first glance in the interior as well.'

Defined edges and tautly drawn surfaces mark out the exterior design of the new A-Class. The constant interplay between concave and convex surfaces creates a characteristic play of light, particularly along the sides of the car, which contributes to its unique appearance.

Typical features of the long, sporty front are its pronounced V-shape, the separate headlamps, the radiator grille wîth central Mercedes star and double slats to either side of the star, as well as the additional air intakes on the sides. The 'dropping line' apparent in the side profile dissipates towards the vehicle's front end. The design of the headlamps, together wîth the configuration of the light functions within them, are key elements of the design concept. The light modules and LEDs behind the headlamp cover glass have been arranged in such a way as to create the characteristic 'flare effect' for the daytime driving lights and indicators.

The perfect interplay of dynamic design and excellent aerodynamics is nowhere more apparent than in the roof, wîth its smooth surfaces and taut, arcing curve. The silhouette reveals smooth, flowing lines finishing in a flat edge. The roof spoiler, which conveniently hides all the aerials, provides an extra sporty touch and gives structure to the roof assembly.

The broad emphasis of the tail end is revealed in an interplay of convex-concave surfaces and edges. The tail lights continue the line of the muscular shoulders back towards the rear, while their horizontal orientation emphasises the car's powerful width. The light functions are provided optionally by fibre-optic cables and LED modules. Here, too, the interaction between design and aerodynamics is very clear: the surface finish of the tail lights is not only an interesting design feature, but also improves the airflow around the vehicle thanks to defined airflow break-away edges in the rear section.

Interior: five-seater model wîth a high-value impression

The interior of the A-Class represents a big step forward in terms of quality – both in the materials used and in the consistency of the design. Both objectives have been achieved wîth the help of a specific design idiom and through the various combination options possible wîth the high-quality materials selected. All trim elements have been given an electroplated finish, resulting in real metal surfaces wîth 'cool touch' effect. The work has been executed wîth considerable care and attention to detail, so that they appear to have been moulded in one piece.

The instrument panel incorporates five round vents. The outer rings of the round vents have a high-quality electroplated finish. The airflow direction is governed by an insert that is reminiscent of an aircraft turbine and reveals a meticulous attention to detail. This too has an electroplated finish in silver-chrome. The free-standing display screen features a black piano-lacquer-look front panel and a flush-fitting silver frame.

The instrument cluster comprises two large round instruments, each wîth a small dial set within it. When at rest, the dial needles stand at 6 o'clock. The pointer inlays are in white, although wîth the sportier design and equipment lines such as Úrban and AMG Sport they are in red. The dials on the sporty equipment lines and packages are silver wîth a chequered flag effect. The 3-spoke §teering wheel comes wîth 12 function buttons and an electroplated bezel.

The fact that the new A-Class is a sporty hatchback model wîth a low centre of gravity is reflected in its dimensions: measuring 4292 x 1780 x 1433 mm (length x width x height), it hugs the road. Compared wîth its predecessor, which followed a different design, the height has been reduced by 160 millimetres.

The A-Class is a five-seater model. The rears seats provide room for three
passengers, despite lòòking like two individual seats wîth their sporty design. The boot volume is 341 litres, based on the VDA standard. If the rear seat backrests are folded down, its capacity jumps to 1157 litres. In all models the seat backrests feature a 60:40 split can be folded forward individually. The width of the luggage compartment between the wheel housings is 1050 mm.

The model range: young and individual

With air conditioning, Audio 5 ÚSB, electric windows all round, Headlamp Assist and 12-button multifunction §teering wheel, the A-Class is already fully equipped even in its base configuration. With 'Úrban', 'Style' and 'AMG Sport' appointment lines, three Design packages ('Night', 'Exclusive' and 'AMG Exclusive') as well as further optional extras, the model can be customised to suit every individual taste.

Available appointments, many familiar from higher vehicle classes, include the Intelligent Light System, electrically adjustable front seats wîth memory function or dashboard finished in ARTICO man-made leather (part of the Exclusive package). All three appointment lines feature front sports seats wîth integrated head restraints and contrasting stitching, and can be combined wîth all engine variants.

Further sporty details designed to appeal to the vehicle's young target group include designo seat belts in red (available from December 2012) or silver instrument cluster wîth red dial pointers (part of the Úrban and AMG Sport lines as well as the Exclusive and AMG Exclusive packages).

'The new A-Class is the heartbeat of a new generation at Mercedes-Benz', stresses Dr Joachim Schmidt, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for Sales & Marketing. 'We have taken the opportunity to design a completely new vehicle which sets standards in its §egmènt. I am convinced that the new A-Class will make a significant contribution to our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy.'

Drive system: high output, low consumption

A wide choice of petrol and diesel engines meets every power requirement and reaches new heights in terms of efficiency and environmental compatibility: the A 180 CDI will be the very first Mercedes-Benz to emit only 98 g of CO2 per kilometre. Moreover, the A 220 CDI (available from December 2012) already meets the Euro 6 emission standard which only comes into force in 2015. All engines of the new A-Class feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines can be combined wîth the new six-speed manual transmission or optionally wîth the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission, which ideally combines comfort and sportiness. Fuel consumption down by up to 35 percent compared to comparable preceding models, accompanied by a considerable power increase: these are the salient features of the engine range for the new A-Class.

Diesel engines: three efficient power bands

The new basic engine in the OM 607 series develops 80 kW(109 hp), delivers 260 Nm to the crankshaft and wîth a manual transmission consumes 3.8 litres per 100 km, corresponding to 98 g of CO2/km. This is a 22-percent improvement over the only 60 kW (82 hp) preceding model, the A 160 CDI, which consumed 4.9 litres. The new top diesel, the A 220 CDI, is no less than 25 percent better than its predecessor: it develops an output of 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 Nm of torque, and in combination wîth the 7G-DCT automatic dual clutch transmission it consumes only 4.3 litres/100 km (provisional figure). The figures for the preceding A 200 CDI were 103 kW(140 hp), 5.7 litres, and 149 g of CO2/km.

Petrol engines: turbocharging and direct injection for all

A comparison between the new and previous A 200 demonstrates what has been achieved wîth the petrol engines: wîth 115 kW(156 hp) and 250 Nm of torque, the new engine delivers superior performance but consumes only 5.4 litres/100 km (127g CO2/km – figures for the 7G-DCT), which is 26 percent less than its predecessor (100 kW, 185 Nm, 7.4 l/100 km, 174 g CO2/km). Even the new top model wîth the 7G-DCT and producing 155 kW(211 hp) and 350 Nm is considerably more efficient wîth a consumption of 6.1 litres and CO2 emissions of 143 g.

The completely new engines and transmissions are not the only decisive factors in this exemplary efficiency. Thanks to the modular system it has been possible to select the optimally designed transmission for each diesel and petrol engine. The overall package is rounded off perfectly wîth progressive aerodynamics wîth a Cd figure of only 0.27, as well as a number of other improvements.

'The new four-cylinder models from Mercedes-Benz occupy a leading position by virtue of their performance, high efficiency and very low emissions. They impress wîth their smooth, superior power delivery and offer customers refinement at the highest level,' says Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

Suspension: agility and refined sportiness

Refined sportiness means maximum agility combined wîth the sense of safety, unspoilt driving stability and high levels of ride comfort which are all typical of the brand. The suspension of the new A-Class has a four-link rear axle, electromechanical power §teering wîth assistance functions and ESP® wîth 'Extended Traction Control' (XTC). During development, the suspension experts made intensive use of simulations and the driving simulators at the Mercedes development centre in Sindelfingen as part of the so-called digital ride and handling test.

The preconditions for achieving dynamic handling are excellent in the A-Class. This is because compared wîth its predecessor the centre of gravity (24 mm lower) and seating position (174 mm lower) has been reduced significantly. A new feature is the four-link rear axle: forces are absorbed by three control arms and one trailing arm per wheel. This means that longitudinal and lateral dynamics are virtually independent of one another. Wheel carriers and spring links are made of aluminium to reduce the unsprung masses. The goal was to achieve high lateral agility wîth high driving stability thanks to small sideslip angle on the rear axle.

Three chassis and suspension set-ups are available: the comfort suspension and optional sports suspension for sporty yet comfortable handling (in conjunction wîth the Dynamic Handling package or the AMG Sport equipment line). In addition, the A 250 Sport has a sporty, 'engineered by AMG' high-performance suspension. Altogether this results in low dynamic rolling behaviour and low start-off pitch angle. Furthermore, the vehicle also has a reduced tendency to understeer in the higher lateral acceleration range: the driver is therefore able to control changes in direction wîth low §teering input but high §teering precision. When accelerating out of bends taken at speed, the tendency to understeer is reduced even further by 'Extended Traction Control' (XTC): wîth this function, ESP®provides support in the form of directional stability by generating a yaw moment on the front and rear wheels located on the inside of the bend.

Safety: setting the very highest standard

In an innovative move in the compact §egmènt, the A-Class is equipped as standard wîth a radar-based collision warning system wîth adaptive Brake Assist, a combination which lowers the risk of rear-end collisions. The COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system gives a visual and audible warning to alert a possibly distracted driver to identified obstacles, and prepares Brake Assist for the most precise braking response possible. This is initiated as soon as the driver operates the brake pedal decisively.

'With the new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz is setting new standards in many disciplines, not least when it comes to the area of safety', emphasizes Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. 'The new A-Class provides the highest standard of safety ever seen in this vehicle class.'

The democratisation of safety encompasses an array of assistance systems which have been adopted into the A-Class from the larger model series, or sometimes developed further in the A-Class. These include:
• Adaptive Highbeam Assist
• Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist
• ATTENTION ASSIST (standard)
• Speed Limit Assist (speed limit sign recognition)
• Active Parking Assist wîth parking guidance
• Brake hold function
• Hill-Start Assist
• LINGÚATRONIC
• Reversing camera
• DISTRONIC PLÚS

Premiere in the compact class: PRE-SAFE® available for the first time

The availability of the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system for the A-Class marks another first in this vehicle category. This represents a further step in the on-going democratisation of this innovation, which was premiered in the S-Class in 2002. Core features of PRE-SAFE® are reversible belt tensioning, the closing of side windows and sliding sunroof in case of critical lateral dynamics and adjustment of the fully electric front passenger seat wîth memory function to an ideal position for maximum effectiveness of the restraint systems. PRE-SAFE® is always activated in response to critical longitudinal and lateral dynamics and may also be triggered upon intervention by certain assistance functions.

Body: a strong basis and intelligent protection

The new A-Class has passed the brand's rigorous programme of crash tests. This includes not only some 30 different impact configurations, which are laid down as requirements for safety ratings and international type approval, but also nine proprietary crash tests, such as the roof-drop test or the pole impact test, developed by the brand itself.

The ability of the new A-Class to satisfy requirements which go far beyond the statutory conditions in some cases is also demonstrated by an internal offset front collision test against a future luxury-§egmènt saloon from Mercedes-Benz: despite the high impact speed and the fact that it is the smaller accident participant, the A-Class offers its occupants an intact passenger compartment and excellent chances of survival.

The scope of the restraint systems takes special account of the A-Class's use as a family car. Great importance has been attached to the safety of the rear occupants. Belt tensioners, belt-force limiters and belt height adjusters come as standard on the outer seats. Rear sidebags are optionally available. The driver and front passenger are provided wîth new thorax-pelvisbags which are able to cover the pelvis and the entire upper part of the body. A windowbag is fitted as standard for head protection.

Comprehensive iPhone® integration

This seamless integration of the iPhone® into the vehicle, in conjunction wîth the new revolutionary user interface design, means that Mercedes-Benz is now able to offer the Facebook generation its natural home on four wheels in the guise of the new A-Class. Along wîth Facebook, Twitter and so on, the 'Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone®' (expected to be available as an accessory from September and as an optional extra from the first quarter of 2013), together wîth the Daimler app concept, brings further digital lifestyle services and content into the vehicle. Highlights include advanced navigation software from Garmin, wîth internet-based real-time traffic information, online destination searches and 3D map display.

The Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone® can already be used wîth the Audio 20 CD. This features a twin tuner and mp3-capable CD player as well as a Bluetooth interface wîth hands-free function and audio streaming. The colour display measures 14.7 cm diagonally. Thanks to a new 'Cover Art' function, the title images of the music albums currently being played are shown if their details are stored in the audio file.

The Becker® MAP PILOT makes a low-cost 3D navigation function, which can also be retrofitted, available for the Audio 20 CD radio. The navigation system boasts voice-controlled input of destinations and an intuitive user interface. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls and the Audio 20 CD display, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.

The multimedia system COMAND Online now provides internet access via a web-enabled mobile phone, plus various Mercedes-Benz services on the move. These include weather information and a special destination search via Google, as well as the option of downloading a route that has been previously configured on a PC using Google Maps and sent to the car. A new feature is the 'News' app which enables news on politics, finance and technology to be called up online in the vehicle. Information is displayed in such a way that it is clearly legible while on the move.

Continuing success: the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The A-Class has been a bestseller for a number of generations. Since its market launch in 1997, it has blazed a trail for a new vehicle class wîth its unique design, becoming a driving force in the compact car §egmènt. The second generation alone, which was launched in 2005, sold more than a million examples worldwide.

Source - Mercedes-Benz
 
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