Mercedes A-Class, 2009
Since its world premiere in 1997, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class has made a name for itself as a trendsetter and innovative leader in its class. Outstanding safety, great day-to-day flexibility and reliability have always been among the strengths of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which has so far captured the enthusiasm of about 1.7 million customers with its distinctive and versatile vehicle concept.
Lines: ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE with an even more pronounced styling emphasis
Design features at the front end provide more distinctions between the design and equipment lines of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. While the louvres in the radiator grille of the basic version are painted in dark-grey, they are respectively in metallic atlas grey and high-sheen iridium silver in the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE lines, and are also visually upgraded by additional chrome strips. Discreet chrome trim strips further reinforce this impression. In the AVANTGARDE line, the front bumper also has a distinctive design which emphasises the arrow-shape of the front end and suggests greater agility.
When viewed from the side the different lines in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class are distinguished by wheel designs. While the basic model is equipped with 15-inch wheels and seven-spoke wheel embellishers as standard, ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE are fitted with individually designed 16-inch light-alloy wheels. The new, larger exterior mirror housings and door handles are now painted in the vehicle colour for all model variants. The previous side rubbing strips have been replaced by discreet chrome trim strips, which provide additional visual highlights in the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE models.
The rear end of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is dominated by a modified bumper and newly designed rear light clusters which extend well into the vehicle flanks. Both these features make the body appear wider and therefore more imposing. In the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE models the rear bumper is embellished with additional, reflector-look trim strips and chrome inserts. The new, ergonomically improved tailgate handle is chrome-plated in both lines, as is the oval exhaust tailpipe.
Interior: upgraded with larger stowage compartments and new fabrics
Mercedes designers paid particular attention to enhanced value when redesigning the interior, choosing new, high-grade upholstery fabrics and door linings. In the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE lines the seats are upholstered in an attractive combination of ARTICO man-made leather and fabric, which is available in three colours. In addition new decorative trim of smoke-grey, diagonally brushed aluminium enhances the interior of the AVANTGARDE line, while the dignified aura of the ELEGANCE models is heightened by wood trim. All variants of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class share a larger stowage compartment in the centre console and a newly designed cupholder between the front seats.
The luxury seat package with seat cushion angle adjustment and lumbar support, seat height adjustment for the driver's seat, a front armrest and a parcel net in the front passenger footwell is standard equipment for ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE models.
Fuel economy: the A 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY consumes 4.5 litres
With fuel consumption figures between 4.9 and 8.1 litres per 100 kilometres, the new-generation A-Class is a model of fuel economy. Thanks to detailed improvements, the fuel consumption of the state-of-the-art direct-injection diesel engines has been reduced by more than eight percent or 0.5 litres per 100 kilometres compared to the preceding series. From autumn 2008 Mercedes-Benz will introduce a standard BlueEFFICIENCY package for the three-door A 160 CDI with a manual transmission, with further improvements in engine efficiency, aerodynamics, rolling resistance, energy management and weight. The sum of these measures achieves a fuel saving of 0.4 litres, which means that the A 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY has an NEDC consumption of just 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres. As a result the CO2 emissions of the 60 kW/82 hp Coupé are 119 grams per kilometre.
The BlueEFFICIENCY package also includes an aerodynamically optimised radiator grille. This has a closed-off interior face to reduce the airflow to the engine, though the CDI engine is still cooled effectively at all times. The suspension has also been lowered by ten millimetres to reduce the drag coefficient even further.
Mercedes engineers have exploited an additional fuel-saving potential by controlling the onboard power supply of the A 160 CDIBlueEFFICIENCY according to demand, and therefore on an energy-saving basis. A sensor constantly monitors the battery so that the output of the generator can be reduced for certain periods when the battery is well charged. This reduces the work required of the engine, which therefore consumes less fuel. To recharge the battery with optimum energy efficiency, the generator management system utilises the engine's overrun phases to produce electrical energy.
the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the first compact car with an environmental certificate
Practical trials such as this are of immense importance to Mercedes-Benz when it comes to evaluating new technologies. The environmental compatibility of vehicles is not only assessed on the basis of standardised emissions and fuel consumption measurement, but also taking into account the entire vehicle lifecycle - from production and many years of operation to eventual recycling and disposal. An analysis of more than 40,000 individual processes provides an overall picture and enables the development work to be objectively assessed.
Safety: flashing brake lights warn following traffic
The adaptive brake light introduces technology from the luxury class into the compact segment, which therefore benefits from a further accident prevention system as a standard feature. Under emergency braking from a speed exceeding 50 km/h, the brake lights flash rapidly to warn following traffic, enabling drivers to respond quicker and prevent a collision.
Flashing brake lights are the result of extensive practical research covering the braking behaviour of drivers. Mercedes engineers found that the braking responses of drivers are on average 0.2 seconds faster in emergency braking situations if a flashing red warning is given in place of conventional brake lights. The stopping distance can be reduced by around 4.40 metres from a speed of 80 km/h, and even by around 5.50 metres from a speed of 100 km/h. If the A-Class is brought to a rapid stop from a speed exceeding 70 km/h, the hazard warning system is switched on in addition to the flashing brake lights.
the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sets standards in this market segment where occupant protection is concerned, with two-stage front airbags, belt tensioners in the front and for the outer rear seats, belt force limiters, active front head restraints and head/thorax sidebags. Mercedes-Benz has now added to this extensive safety technology with crash-responsive emergency lighting for the interior. This is switched on automatically following an accident of a defined severity, providing the occupants with better orientation and facilitating the work of the emergency services.
Parking assist: ultrasound and electric steering for easier parking
When finding and reversing into a parking space, drivers of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class will in future be aided by an active parking assist feature which is available on request for all model variants. Using side-mounted ultrasonic sensors, this system identifies suitable parking spaces on both sides of the road in passing, then informs the driver by means of a display. The sensors are active up to a speed of 35 km/h, and monitor the area to the left and right of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. They measure the length and depth of possible parking spaces, indicating that the search is in progress with a " P " in the instrument cluster.