Mercedes A-Z uncovered
Mercedes-Benz is get yourself ready for an unparalleled ton of recent and improved models within the next 3 years because it seeks to increase annual sales from today’s 1.two million to some once-unimaginable 1.8 million by 2007.
To do this goal, the German vehicle maker will combine its traditional model lines with a number of radical new choices, each carefully created to satisfy the growing expectations of today’s vehicle buyers. Within this special report, Autocar reveals the surprises Mercedes holds – out of this summer’s all-new A-class right lower towards the secret new X-class.
The covers are – literally – from the second-generation A-class. Caught throughout an advertising shoot around the Spanish island of Majorca late a week ago, Stuttgart’s new entry model will first be proven in the Paris Motor Show in September.
British sales start in December with prices held near to the current car’s ￡13,580 to ￡18,040, regardless of the offer of more powerful performance, greater versatility and much more equipment.
The 3-door, scooped here undisguised the very first time, is going to be pitched like a coupé, in exactly the same it markets the C-class Sports Coupé. The greater practical five-door model will offer you very similar recipe as today, and can be became a member of by a wide open-top version.
In dimensions, Merc’s newborn is near to today’s lengthy-wheelbase A, by having an overall period of nearly 3800mm. Just one wheelbase is provided this time around.
Merc is promoting seven new four-cylinder engines for that cars, all meeting Euro4 emissions standards. Petrols incorporate a 90bhp 1.5, 110bhp 1.7, 130bhp 2. and 170bhp 2.-litre turbo – the second offering Small Cooper S-challenging grunt. Diesels contain three turbo 2.-litre units, with 82bhp, 110bhp and 130bhp. Each advantages of Bosch’s latest common-rail tech and also the most frugal averages 58mpg.
Brand new A-class designs include a six-speed manual a 5-speed torque-ripper tools auto and new continuously variable transmission is going to be optional. Preventing a repeat from the original A-class’s handling crisis, Merc has stored MacPherson struts in advance, but replaced the torsion beam rear axle with a brand new multi-link arrangement, known internally as Omega. Wider tracks and standard 16-inch wheels and tyres will improve high-speed stability.
B-class The brand new A-class will splinter into more niches, supplying a new B-class midi-MPV in the finish of the coming year to challenge the Renault Scénic, Vauxhall Zafira and VW Touran. The B can come like a five-seater, but seven seats are optional. Prices will begin under ￡20,000.
A gently veiled concept B-class is going to be revealed in the Paris show under its internal working title of Compact Sports Tourer (CST). Although in line with the A-class, the brand new five-door receives unique styling just like a shrunken R-class and rides on the wheelbase that’s almost 200mm longer for usable interior space claimed to complement those of today’s M-class.
Although front-wheel drive at launch, rumours abound that Merc will ultimately supply the B-class with four-wheel drive. Engines are when it comes to A.
Following a recent facelift to freshen its appeal, the C-class continues unchanged until early the coming year if this will get Mercedes’ new four-valve-per-cylinder V6 gas and diesel engines and optional 7G-Tronic seven-speed auto. Under discussion for that United kingdom is really a four-wheel drive C350 4matic model.
Early development focus on the 3rd-generation C-class has began but don’t expect anything before 2007.
C-Class Sports Coupé Getting got a subtle mid-existence facelift and reworked four-cylinder engines, the C-class Sports Coupé won’t see much change until early 2005 if this, too, adopts the brand new four-valve 3.5-litre V6. Another-generation model arrives in 2007 and will also be in line with the same rear-drive underpinnings because the new SLK expect another coupé and soft-top.
CLK-class The CLK, too, switches towards the 3.5-litre V6, but very little else changes before a small facelift the coming year.
A brand new CLK, due in 2008, could adopt the 4-door layout from the forthcoming CLS. ‘The four-door approach has its own supporters and we’re thinking about it for other future models,’ stated an insider. CLS-class Saloon or coupé? Both, states Mercedes of their new CLS (pictured). In line with the rear-drive E-class platform, the CLS continues United kingdom purchase at the begining of 2005 and it is barely taken off the sleek Vision CLS concept.
At 4110mm long, 1851mm wide and 1391mm tall, Stuttgart’s new ‘coupoon’ is longer, wider minimizing compared to E-class. The B-support beams are cleverly masked by dark paneling and frameless side home windows.
Rear-seat passengers take advantage of the kind of space usually present in luxury saloons – rear knee, mind and shoulder room is just fractionally smaller sized compared to the E. Luggage capacity is 505 litres, some 55 litres greater than the bigger CL.
Powering the CLS would be the 272bhp 3.5-litre V6 and 306bhp 5.-litre V8, offering -62mph in 7. or 6.1sec. 18 several weeks after launch, two new four-valve-per-cylinder V8 engines will arrive: a 4.6 with around 360bhp along with a 5.5 with 410bhp.
Topping the CLS household is an immediate CLS55 AMG model. Due at Paris in September, it uses the supercharged 5.4-litre V8 engine already seen in a number of AMG-fettled choices. E-class With sales from the E-class running well as much as expectations, Mercedes will hold back until early 2005 prior to making any changes to the traditional mid-ranger. Together with all of those other range, new V6 gas and diesel engines is going to be added. G-class The very first all-new G-class in over twenty five years lands in the year 2006. Merc wishes to enhance the profile of their military-inspired off-roader, by setting the seven-seater from the Range Rover.
Tossing from the boxy outline of today’s model, the brand new G-class flaunts more sophisticated styling without losing its macho appeal. It will likely be built in america factory at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and shares hardware using the lengthy-wheelbase R-class.
For serious dirt-plugging, the G will have a transfer situation offering high and low range gears, stabilisers that may be hydraulically de-coupled for added ground clearance, electronic diffs with 100 percent lock-up and air suspension.
Power originates from four-valve-per-cylinder V6 and V8 engines, as the gear ratios from the 7G-Tronic seven-speed auto is going to be altered because of its off-road focus.
M-class The brand new M-class is going to be proven at January’s Detroit show before reaching the United kingdom in the center of the coming year. This time around, it’s engineered to some tougher standard, ditching the ladder-frame chassis instead of the unitary body construction utilized by the X5/Touareg/Cayenne.
New engines include four-valve-per-cylinder V6 and V8 engines, varying from the 245bhp 3.5 gas completely up to and including 300bhp 4.4-litre diesel having a gut-wrenching 516lb foot of torque. An AMG version will operate a new 500bhp naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V8.
The M uses just one short-wheelbase four-wheel-drive platform, distributed to the Euro R-class. Expect prices from ￡35,000 to ￡60,000.
R-class Such as the M, the R-class also seems at Detroit along with showroom in your area in summer time 2005. Previewed within the GST concept, the R-class is really a crossover unlike any other: it’s a large MPV, off-roader and posh saloon all folded into one, slotting between your E- and S-class.
Beginning cost ought to be around ￡45,000. The R-class is going to be built-in two wheelbases offering five or seven seats, even though the United kingdom will probably get the shorter version only. S-class/CL-class On purchase since 1998, today’s strong-selling S-class is going to be substituted with an exciting-new model late the coming year – although not before the last flourish later in ’04 if this gets to be a new base engine, the prevalent 3.5 V6.
Stuttgart’s new range-topper will offer you rear- and optional four-wheel drive, and it is being positioned like a slightly sportier drive this time around round. Buyers choose from a comfort-oriented air-sprung Airmatic suspension along with a steel-sprung option touting Merc’s active body control.
Combined with the new base gas engine, the brand new S-class will get a 227bhp 3.-litre V6 common-rail turbodiesel, 360bhp 4.6-litre and 410bhp 5.5-litre V8s, and 500bhp 5.5-litre V12 gas engines. Also planned at the begining of 2006 is definitely an S63 model to exchange the S55. It’ll operate a new naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V8.
The S-class’s coupé spin-off, the CL, has nothing more than 2 yrs left to operate. At the begining of 2006, a substitute arrives based on S-class rear-wheel-drive mechanicals. Svelte new styling is going to be complemented by a number of technology and effective V8 and V12 engines.
SL-class The SL may be selling like hotcakes, but Merc is busy readying an F1-alike nose as around the SLK/SLR for late the coming year. Simultaneously, the large roadster go for Mercedes’ new 410bhp 5.5-litre V8 engine.
However the craziest SL is really a new SL65 AMG model. Discussing exactly the same 612bhp twin-turbo 5.5-litre V12 engine launched this past year within the S65 and CL65, it offers to dish up SLR-like performance at half the cost.
No official acceleration claims exist, however with 112bhp greater than the SL55, the brand new SL65 ought to be great for -60mph in 4.2sec along with a theoretical top speed way past the 186mph (300km/h) ceiling enforced by most steering wheel makers.
X-class The ultimate entrant in Mercedes’ off-roader offensive is really a new X3-rivalling mudslinger according to modified underpinnings in the C-class 4matic. It’s due within 2007.
Its obvious emphasis is on-road dynamics and just what insiders call ‘modest off-road ability’. Details remain sketchy, but it’s rumoured the X-class is going to be put together at Mercedes’ Juiz de Fora factory in South america plus the robotically similar but stylistically differentiated Smart ForMore.
The X-class will probably be offered with V6 gas and diesel engines solely, so they won’t encroach an excessive amount of around the M-class.