Published: Sat, February 03, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

Mercedes-Benz unveils new A-Class that 'completely redefines modern luxury'

Mercedes-Benz unveils new A-Class that 'completely redefines modern luxury'

As the many teaser images previewed, the new A-Class' front end bears a strong resemblance to that of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS. Discussions surrounding suspension tunes, engine efficiency, and chassis torsional rigidity took a backseat, as the new "MBUX" system was thrust into the spotlight. Alternatively, customers can specify the vehicle with twin 7.0in digital displays.

A statement of "Hey Mercedes, I'm cold" would see the car's temperature raise by a couple of degrees, all the while the computer's artificial intelligence system learning how to better understand your speech and preferences.

Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche said at the car's reveal: "The A-Class has been a big driver of change at Mercedes". In addition to voice commands, drivers can also control the auto via the new touch capability on the infotainment system, touchpad on the center console, or touch control buttons on the steering wheel.

It was confirmed to Australian media that wireless Apple CarPlay will be available on all models in an effort to take on national rival BMW. The rear door apertures are larger to ease entry to the back seats, and the boot's capacity is 29 litres bigger than the old model's at a nominal 370 litres.

However, there has also been work done to improve cabin space with more shoulder room (+9/+22 mm front/rear), elbow room (+35/+36 mm) and headroom (+7/+8 mm). All of these come with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, although a six-speed manual is available on the gas engine with the lower output.

And yes, we're talking about a sub-2 million baht starting price when specified with 163hp engine in the name of A200. The sole diesel is the A180d which sees a 1.5-litre block called OM608.

Under the hood there are a range of engine options.

A new A45 AMG hot hatch isn't due until next year, and will be joined by the slightly milder A35 AMG, which will sit between the rip-snorting flagship, and A250 4Matic in terms of power and sportiness. Since its famously wobbly start in 1997 and subsequent reinvention in 2012 from brilliant if boring original into thrusting and dynamic sportster, the A-Class family of cars has gone on to account for one in four of all Mercedes sold.

The new A-class has grown in all dimensions by being 127mm longer, 16mm wider and 7mm taller.

All feature a MacPherson- strut front end, but Mercedes has chose to provide certain models, including the A200 and A180d, with a new torsion-beam rear end.

Adding to the more upscale ambiance are new features such as heated and ventilated seats, a Multicontour Seat package with massage function, as well as an array of available driving assistance systems.

If the driver presses the indicator for two seconds on a multi-lane highway, the vehicle can overtake automatically and then return to its lane. There are also enhanced aerodynamics: Mercedes-Benz claims a class- leading drag coefficient of 0.25 for the new A-Class. They are operated by the all-new multimedia system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), which adds touchscreen functionality for the main display.

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