At a time when sport utility vehicles seem to be taking over the world, Mercedes-Benz hasn’t hesitated to take the wraps off one of the smallest passenger cars in its line-up: the fourth generation A-Class.
The latest iteration comes with a slew of new technology, semi-autonomous driving capability and technical improvements aimed at improving the vehicles driving dynamics.
The new A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature the new multimedia system MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience, which, thanks to artificial intelligence, can be individualized and will also adapt to suit the user. The goal is to create an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers, Mercedes-Benz officials said as they rolled out the new system.
The touchscreen operation also features the navigation with augmented reality technology plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated with the code word “Hey Mercedes.”
A head-up display is also available. The touchscreen is part of the comprehensive MBUX touch-control concept – a triad consisting of the touchscreen, touchpad on the center console and touch control buttons in the steering wheel.
(“Hey Mercedes! Let’s you have a conversation with your A-Class. Click Here for the story.)
New and improved Mercedes me connect services are being launched with the new infotainment generation MBUX, including navigation functions based on Car-to-X communication (information from vehicle to vehicle about events registered by sensors
On the inside, the new A-Class has been designed with more shoulder, elbow and headroom plus easier access to the larger and more family- and recreation-friendly rear luggage compartment. All-round visibility has also been improved, enhancing safety and the feeling of spaciousness.
At the same time, comfort features from higher vehicle segments make an appearance in the new A-Class: on request, and for the first time, seats with massage function are available for the front seats.
During the development of the A-Class, particular attention was given to both quietness and high overall structural rigidity and the connecting points between the body, suspension and powertrain, making better able to withstand the forces in a crash.
The new A-Class is also the first Mercedes-Benz model to have been developed at the new Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety. Design of the vehicle structures incorporates findings from research into real accidents. Every single body-shell component was developed according to the loads and stresses encountered, with respect to geometry, material thickness, joining technology and material quality.
The comprehensive noise insulation concept of the new A-Class includes components such as the air and coolant management systems or trim parts in the interior being configured so as to improve noise insulation as well. Wind noises have also been significantly reduced compared to the preceding model.
For the first time, the A-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation: improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 500 m ahead.
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The new A-Class comes with extended “Active Brake Assist” as standard. Depending on the situation, this can effectively help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or prevent them altogether.
The optional multibeam LED headlamps are another example of the technology transfer from the luxury to the compact class. These allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation. 18 individually actuated LEDs are housed in each headlamp.
The daylight-like light color of the LEDs is easy on the eyes and has a positive effect on concentration. The road ahead is precisely and brightly illuminated. LED High Performance headlamps are a further option. As standard the new A-Class is equipped with halogen headlamps with integrated LED daytime driving lamps.
All the new A-Class models are powered by new, efficient engines: Two new four-cylinder gas engines are available at market launch
There is a choice of suspension systems for the A-Class, depending on engine variant and driver preference. 16-inch wheels are standard equipment. Dyanmic Select is standard equipment, and at the touch of a button also provides an individual driving experience in conjunction with the suspension with active damping control, which is optional.
(To see more about Mercedes-Benz being tops in global luxury vehicle sales for 2017, Click Here.)
Like all its predecessors, the new A-Class has a McPherson front suspension. The more powerful versions such as the A 250 and all 4MATIC models have a sophisticated four-link rear suspension. The rear axle is mounted on a subframe isolated from the bodyshell by rubber bushings so that fewer vibrations are transferred from the suspension to the body.