Wednesday, January 30, 2013
CATS Motors launches all-new Mercedes-Benz B-Class
CATS Motors, Inc., the exclusive distributor of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the Philippines launched the all-new B-Class, the brand’s new premium compact. Heralding a new era in both design and technology, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz B-Class is set to transform the entry-level luxury segment with its sophisticated design, all-new powertrain, and unparalleled safety.
“2013 Mercedes-Benz B-Class aims to penetrate a new and younger market for Mercedes-Benz. It is designed with the next generation of Mercedes-Benz owners in mind,” says Zoilo Calina, CATS Motors Assistant Vice President for Marketing Communications. “It also pertains to the safety Assist Systems from Mercedes-Benz—technologies that help the driver know what’s coming up”.
From the outside, the all-new B-Class exudes a feeling of space combined with impressive dynamic lines. The front and rear sport a width-emphasizing design with a wide, prominent grille and headlamps that extend along the sides while the rear end features a wide rear window, two-piece taillights with horizontally offset details, and a large tailgate with a low loading sill. Aside from giving the B-Class a unique shape, this design is also responsible in giving it a 0.26 co-efficient of drag—placing it at the forefront of its market segment.
The newfound sportiness of the B-Class is particularly evident its profile: the bonnet flows seamlessly into the A-pillar and the roofline descends sleekly to the striking roof spoiler. The pronounced wheel arches are offset by dynamic feature lines that are a sporty interpretation of the current Mercedes-Benz design language. Then there are the details as well, such as the modernistic trapezoidal headlamps with “rising” LED daytime running lights which are echoed in the rear lamp cluster. All in all, the B-Class re-confirms Mercedes-Benz’s unmistakable premium credentials even in the compact segment.
Mercedes-Benz is also underscoring the dynamic aspirations of the all-new B-Class. The most striking aspect is the reduced height: which is almost 50 millimeters lower to the road than its predecessor. The seat height in relation to the road has also been reduced by 86 millimeters.
Despite the lowered height, the sitting position in the all-new B-Class is more upright. At the same time, the headroom has been further improved. With a maximum headroom of 1,047 millimeters at the front, the B-Class is among the most spacious in its segment. The upright sitting position combined with a lowering of the vehicle’s floor leads to a segment-leading degree of legroom at 976 millimeters.
Aside from its apparent spaciousness, the B-Class sets a new benchmark in the premium compact segment through the use of high-quality materials, finely structured surfaces, stylish details, and precision workmanship.
At a glance, the large, three-dimensional trim covering the entire dashboard strikes the eye. Then the three large round vents in the middle and their uniquely designed cruciform nozzles add a sporty attribute to the interior. On top of that, a new “floating” large full-color TFT display with a contrasting galvanized and piano black finish adds a feeling of cutting-edge technology. Mercedes-Benz’s trademark COMAND system allows full access to a wealth of infotainment options in the B-Class including full digital music support.
For the driver, the thick, three-spoke steering wheel with its silver chrome insert in the middle spoke stirs the right emotions. This is followed by the instrument cluster and its four analogue round dials, suspended vertically when resting. The cabin is then finished off with Artico leather with contrasting stitching, underscoring the B-Class’s sporty character.
The all-new B-Class features a new drivetrain developed completely in-house by Mercedes-Benz. The engine and transmission were developed simultaneously to “marry” them perfectly. It also enabled engineers to offer unrivaled fuel efficiency features such as the ECO start/stop function which come as standard equipment.
Currently, the B-Class is available with a brand-new turbocharged four-cylinder engine (B 200) with the company’s direct injection system. Earlier introduced in Mercedes-Benz’s V6 and V8 engines, its use in the B-Class marks the technology’s debut in the premium compact segment. With 1.6 liters of displacement, the B 200 has 156 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque from as low as 1,250 rpm. This new engine is mated to Mercedes-Benz’s new 7G-DCT, a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission with cruise control. Mounted transversely in the engine bay, this compact and lightweight engine also enables the B-Class to have an exemplary turning radius at just 5.5 meters. More engine variants including a new four-cylinder diesel engine will be made available during the latter part of the year.
Although the basic suspension configuration remains unchanged including the unique double-floor construction, the B-Class promises to be “fascinatingly agile” thanks to its lowered center of gravity and a new four-link rear axle. The handling package may be enhanced further by an optional sport suspension system which includes 18-inch alloy wheels (standard are 16-inch alloys).
The B-Class also comes standard with a large suite of safety systems, some of which are debuting in the premium compact segment for the first time. The safety systems onboard include: 7 airbags, ATTENTION ASSIST (detects the onset of drowsiness on the basis of steering behavior), Electronic Stability Program (ESP),Automatic Skid Control (ASR), Active Park Assist, Brake Assist (automatic recognition of emergency braking situations), tire pressure monitoring, hill start assist, and crash responsive emergency lighting.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz B-Class is currently available locally with just one variant: the B 200 (P 2,280,000). However, buyers who want the ultimate ownership experience may opt for the Night Package for an additional P 300,000. The Night Package upgrades the B 200’s look with a different grille (twin louvers in high-gloss black with chrome highlights), 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/45 R 18 tires, black side view mirrors, dark-tinted heat-insulating glass from the B-pillar rearward, roof trim and belt line in high-gloss black, and bumpers without the chrome highlights.