New Mercedes-Benz A-Class – prepares for Irish arrival

Mercedes-Benz has lifted the covers off its all-new A-class, latest in a generation of cars that the german manufacturer believes will redefine modern luxury in the compact class.

Set to be one of the crowd-pleasing attractions at the Geneva Motor Show, the all-new A-Class is more ‘grown up’ and more comfortable than before whilst still retaining all of its youthful appeal.

Said by Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, to be ‘amongst the first of the new for 182’, it is expected to arrive into Ireland immediately before second-half registrations commence. With model range and prices to be announced closer to introduction, Allen underlines Mercedes-Benz’s determination to drive sales by continuing to maintain what he calls ‘an extremely competitive position’.

Proven in wooing a new, younger generation of motorists into Mercedes-Benz ownership, this latest A-Class takes over from a bestseller that has given the brand a distinctly more youthful fan base. According to Mercedes-Benz, drivers are now some 13 years younger on average than those of its predecessor.

Though numerous body changes have been introduced to give it a noticeably larger and even more energetic appearance – noticeably a more sloping bonnet and lower, more angular headlights and grille with inset star – Its most pronounced changes can be seen in an interior that its designers say is completely new and quite revolutionary.

Exuding a new sense of spaciousness – thanks to 7mm/8mm more front/rear headroom, 9mm/22mm more front/rear shoulder room, 35mm/36mm more front/rear elbow room – its interior architecture is marked by an avant-garde dashboard design and control-and-display systems that are said to be a USP in this segment.

Visually, the dashboard is divided into two sections, one set above the other – the lower section separated from the other by appearing to ‘float’ before it in a three-dimensional way, an effect that can be accentuated by optional ambience lighting.

Arguably its most ingenious feature is an ultra-modern multimedia and infotainment system, one of whose characteristics is a capacity to ‘learn’ thanks to its use of artificial intelligence. Branded the Mercedes-Benz User Experience – MBUX, for short – this ‘intuitive’ operating experience is said to significantly reduce driver distraction.

At its heart is a high-resolution, wide touch-screen operation that embodying a navigation display with augmented reality technology, plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition. Destined to capture the imagination of younger drivers, its workings focus on a finger-touch concept that combines a touch screen, centre console touch pad, and touch control buttons on the steering wheel.

Some features in the new A-Class are drawn from models that rank above it in the Mercedes-Benz firmament. For example, its multifunctional steering wheel is derived from the S-Class while its front seats incorporate comfort features from its more luxurious siblings, including seat climate control, multi-contour features and a massage function.

More space, better all-round visibility, and easier access to the rear seats also constitute a design plus, as is its luggage compartment with 370 litres capacity – 29 litres more than previously.

A range of new engines comprises two 4-cylinder petrol options of 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre capacity and a new 1.5-litre diesel with power outputs in the 116 to 224hp range initially with higher performance AMG versions following. Transmission is 6-speed manual (on A220 version) and 7-speed automatic (on A250 and A180d versions).

Advanced safety systems include see-ahead camera and radar with up to 500 metres range plus many ‘active’ features now common in Mercedes-Benz models, including Lane Keeping, Adaptive Braking, and various Distance Control and Driver Assist systems.

Commenting, Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in Ireland said: “with the new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz is set once again to raise the bar in the compact segment”.

“Supported by competitive finance plans, and with an expanded dealer network that includes new high-profile outlets in Dublin, Sligo, Galway and Wexford – all experienced in representing large volume brands – we have the resources required to mount a serious challenge to other compact class brands with the aim of gaining an even greater share of sales at the entry level than was possible previously,” Allen said.

Posted in Irish News, Mercedes-Benz, New Cars, News
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