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Mercedes May Launch New X-Class Microcar

Germans turning to French alliance partner Renault for help.

by on Mar.19, 2013

Mercedes is looking to follow the lead of key competitors like BMW and Audi.

It may require an alphabetic revision, but Mercedes-Benz is reportedly working up a new model line that would slot somewhere between the maker’s current bottom-end A-Class and the Smart car produced by parent Daimler AG.

Designed to take on competitors like the Audi A1 and a front-drive BMW model now under development, Mercedes is expected to turn to its French alliance partner Renault to help develop the small car. The X-Class would be targeted at the growing market for high-mileage microcars and be offered in a mix of body styles.

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Production of the new line is expected to begin around 2018, according to Germany’s AutoBild magazine, with the X-Class expected to come in at a base price of around €20,000, or $26,000 at current exchange rates. That would create a serious challenge for the maker, something Mercedes apparently will address by turning to one of its partners for assistance.

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First Look: Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class

Rethinking the luxury microcar.

by on Apr.07, 2011

Mercedes-Benz will reveal the new A-Class Concept at both the NY and Shanghai auto shows.

Mercedes-Benz is thinking outside the box…and inside it, as well, with the A-Class Concept it will be introducing at the New York Auto Show later this month – simultaneously launching at the Shanghai Motor Show, as well.

The German maker was among the first to see the potential for a pint-sized luxury car, rolling out the original A-Class in 2002.  The early model offered an efficient – and ingenious – use of space, but it never quite delivered the level of luxury or styling normally associated with the brand, leaving many potential buyers to wait – or choose from the growing number of competing offerings.

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Indeed, the luxury microcar segment is growing fast, with even Aston Martin entering the fray with the new Cygnet it has developed as part of an unusual joint venture with Toyota based on the Japanese maker’s little iQ model.

So, Mercedes is now weighing in with a prototype that, at least from initial appearances, seems more well-suited to the brand’s overall line-up.

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