Monday, June 17, 2013
CATS Motors Launches All-New 2013 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
It’s not everyday designers and engineers get the chance to start with a clean sheet of paper, but that’s exactly what happened with the all-new A-Class: a car that’s completely new, down to the last detail. Clearly, from the inside out, Mercedes-Benz has made the very most of that opportunity.
From the outside, design and dynamism are the most obvious characteristics that define the A-Class. Even at first glance, it’s sporty thanks to a stance that’s up to 160 cm lower than its predecessor. It’s distinctive as well with its two-box design with tautly drawn lines. There’s a constant interplay between concave and convex planes creating a characteristic play of light, particularly along the sides of the car. The roof line is taut and arcing with a roof spoiler that conveniently hides the antenna to provide an extra sporty touch. Upfront, the A-Class is characteristic because of its pronounced V-shape and the large radiator grille with the central Mercedes star. Even the headlamps, normally ignored, play a central role in the design concept by providing a “flare effect” thanks to the configuration of the elements within the lamp cluster. And at the back, there’s an interesting interplay of convex and concave surfaces and edges that manage to continue the muscular shoulder line. All in all, the A-Class exudes a youthful and emotive exterior with a very pronounced sporty flair.
Inside, the A-Class’s cockpit complements the sporty look of the exterior, the guiding principle of which is: pure sportiness, newly interpreted. To achieve this effect, Mercedes-Benz designers utilize high-quality materials on every surface. All trim surfaces also feature an electroplated “silver chrome” finish giving it a genuine metallic luster with a “cool touch” effect. The work has been executed with considerable care and attention to detail so they appear to have been molded in one piece. A particular visual highlight, for example, is the five air vents which stand out like “sparkling jewels” underlying the exceptional quality of the A-Class. The free-standing display screen at the center features a black piano-lacquer-look front panel and a flush-silver frame.
The fact that the new A-Class is a sporty hatchback with a low center of gravity is reflected in its dimensions measuring in at 4,292 x 1,780 x 1,433 mm (length x width x height). Compared with its predecessor which followed a different design philosophy the height has been reduced while retaining its true five-seater capacity. The rear seats, for instance, provide room for three passengers, despite looking like two individual seats with their sporty design. The luggage area is 341 liters which jumps to 1,157 liters with the seats folded down. The A-Class features a 60/40 split-folding rear seat for added flexibility.
For the first time, performance specialists from AMG were involved in the development of the A-Class and the result is the most dynamic version of the model: the A-Class Sport ‘engineered by AMG’. It pays visual homage to the concept car that bore the A-Class with its diamond-patterned grille. The A-Class Sport also features exclusive 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with 235/40 R 18 tires all around painted in a high-gloss place. Together with the red-painted brake calipers, it gives an indication of the dynamic driving qualities that lie beneath. Even the AMG front and rear aprons have hints of red for that dash of sportiness. Inside, the A-Class Sport uses contrasting black trim and red accents in the steering wheel, seats, and even the seat belts. Even the ambient lighting of the instruments and the highlight rings of the air vents have been similarly changed to red.
The A-Class’s pronounced sportiness is backed up by its new generation gasoline engine that offers an unparalleled combination of performance and efficiency. With a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine underneath the hood, the A 250 Sport produces a healthy 211 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque from as low as 1,200 rpm thanks to direct injection, exhaust gas turbocharging, a more advanced combustion process, and an extended stratification range for lean-burn operation that uses fast-acting injectors for the multiple injection of fuel as well as on-demand multi-spark ignition. The A 250 Sport even comes with an ECO start/stop function as standard and is mated with the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission. All in all, the A 250 Sport decimates the 100 km/h mark in just 6.6 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz is renowned for its refined sportiness which combines agility, a sense of safety, high-speed stability and high levels of ride comfort. With that in mind, the new A-Class benefits from intensive use of simulations and driving simulators at the Mercedes Development Center in Sindelfingen through a so-called “digital ride and handling test”. The new A-Class features a center of gravity 24 mm lower and a seating position 174 mm lower than its predecessor. It also features a new four-ink rear axle where forces are absorbed by three control arms and one trailing arm per wheel. This means that longitudinal and lateral dynamics are virtually independent of one another. Wheel carriers and spring links are made of aluminum to reduce weight while a new electromechanical power steering with assistance functions such as ESP and Extended Traction Control (XTC) complete the package. The A 250 Sport ups the sportiness by featuring a high-performance suspension, reducing understeer and increasing steering precision.
In an innovative move in the premium compact segment, the A-Class is equipped with the highest levels of safety thanks to passing Mercedes-Benz’s rigorous program of crash tests. This includes not only some 30 different impact configurations which are laid down as requirement for safety ratings, but also nine proprietary crash tests such as roof-drop test and pole impact test, developed by Mercedes-Benz themselves. In addition, the A-Class comes with a complete suite of 7 airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability program (ESP), acceleration skid control (ASR), tire pressure loss warning system, and ATTENTION ASSIST.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been a bestseller since its market launch in 1997. Since then, it has blazed a trail for a new vehicle class with its unique design, becoming a driving force in the compact car segment. The second-generation alone, which was launched in 2005, sold more than a million examples worldwide. The all-new A-Class is opening up a new chapter in the premium compact segment with its markedly emotive design and its powerful yet efficient turbocharged engine. Indeed, the A-Class is a clear statement of the dynamism now present in the Mercedes-Benz brand. No other car in this class is as expressive as the A-Class, and no other car can indeed serve as the “pulse of the new generation”.
Prices of the new A 250 Sport start at P 2,580,000.