Small cars are big these days, as the posters for the Frankfurt Motor Show declare. And while that’s probably no surprise among mainstream brands like Volkswagen, which focused much of its news conference on the micro-sized Up! line, even luxury makers are getting into the downsizing game.
This year’s big European auto show brings out a variety of models designed to show that luxury doesn’t have to be measured by the pounds and inches – er, kilograms and meters – though many of the offerings on display, such as the Audi A2, are glimpses of products yet to come. Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, says the time is now with the remake of its compact B-Class people-mover.
Adopting an all-new chassis and a significantly refined look, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class is one of roughly a half-dozen new small car models the German luxury icon is planning to bring to market in the next year or so.
The B-Car will start rolling into showrooms by autumn, in fact. And Mercedes will have a lot riding on it as the maker’s earlier take on the compact luxury class generated only moderate sales, at best when compared to rivals like BMW and Audi.