Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the new generation Mercedes-Benz A-class at an event in Amsterdam. The new car also brings the first interpretation of MBUX, the Mercedes-Benz user experience, which has oddly found its debut at the entry level rather than being shown on the S-class.
“The A-Class has been a big driver of change at Mercedes-Benz. It is the single best example on how we managed to rejuvenate our entire brand”, says Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “There’s not much of an ‘entry-level’ feel left in our new entry-level car. This grown-up A-Class fully incorporates our definition of ‘Modern Luxury’. And it’s unparalleled in this segment.”
The new cabin environment is tuned to the modern lifestyle – voice control is activated by saying “Hey Mercedes” (that’s Linguatronic, part of the MBUX). Voice control also recognises indirect speech and is adaptive – learning the way non-native speakers communicate and also incorporating slang and buzzwords.
The car will also offer a Mercedes Me account that allows the user to pair their digital environment with the car. This app based system can even inform designated contacts in case of an accident or allow the participant to port their office communication stream to the car.
The A-class also gets new engines, a new 1.4-litre M282 unit with cylinder shut-off and up to 161hp and an M260 2.0-litre unit with Camtronic on the intake cam and an output of 221hp and 350Nm (both with the 7G-DCT gearbox). The two resulting models are the A200 and the A250.
The interior architecture and the control & display systems of the new A-Class are an avant-garde USP in this segment. The dashboard is divided into two three-dimensional, horizontal sections: the lower section is visually separated from the main body of the dashboard by a “trench”, and it appears to float in front of the dashboard. The optional ambient lighting enhances this effect, accentuating the free-floating impression of the substructure.
The car is available with two displays, either both 7″ or 10.25″ or a combination of one each.
“The new A-Class embodies the next stage in our design philosophy of Sensual Purity and has the potential to usher in a new design era,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. “With clear contours and sensual surfaces, we present high-tech that awakens emotions. Form and body are what remain when creases and lines are reduced to the extreme. The interior represents modern luxury at a level previously unattained in this class, and translates intelligent technology into an emotional overall experience.”