Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the fourth generation W177 A-Class hatchback and it brings more than just a design update. In fact, the new A-Class showcases Mercedes’ new design language called ‘Sensual Purity’ which follows on seen recently in the 2019 CLS.
Sportiness, dynamism and emotion is what the brand is calling the exterior – progressive front design with a low bonnet, flat LED headlamps with chrome elements and torch-like daytime driving lamps and that diamond radiator grille that highlighted the previous generation’s design.
360-look at 2019 A-Class Edition 1
At the rear, the tail lamps provide a wider look with slimmer looking designs to bring home the new hatchback look and feel. Together with the new streamlined shape, aerodynamics has been improved as well. Cd figure is now from 0.25, thanks to a list of aerodynamic improvements including aero lip in the bonnet’s joint to the front apron, improved shape of the rear exhaust silencer and heat shield, as well as front and rear wheel spoilers optimised to achieve low airflow losses around the wheels. In addition, the wheel arches are insulated from the engine compartment.
The interior has been modernised and revolutionised with digital displays and luxury. The wide visual and spaciousness of the dashboard is thanks to the continuity of the wing shaped design that is from the front door, across the dashboard to the other door. The clean look of the free standing widescreen display’s are also a treat, one that will incorporate the combination of 7 or 10.25-inch displays. Other completely new design elements to note are the turbine inspired air vents, new steering wheel, door handles and door-pulls, and touchpad. Oh and check out the lighting accents throughout the cabin!
Three engine variants of the A-Class will be available at launch, including two new petrol engines of a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder outputting 163 hp on the A200, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 224 hp on the A250 and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel delivering 116 hp on the A180d. All will be mated to a 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission. It is good to note that the new 1.4-litre unit is the first four-cylinder Mercedes engine to feature cylinder shutoff where the intake and exhaust valves of the second and third cylinder are closed between 1,250 and 3,800 rpm. The remaining cylinders then operate under higher loads.
Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX)
MBUX allows for the best natural language you could have with a car. Simply say ‘Hey Mercedes’, and its artificial intelligence system will be able to respond to you. It is a much personalised experience as the multimedia system MBUX creates a truly emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers. As the system is a learning one, MBUX is the beginning of perfecting a virtual assistant for every Mercedes-Benz.
The user experience is now operated by touchscreen, touchpad (optional) on the centre console and touch control buttons on the steering wheel. In Fullscreen Mode, the entire area of instrument cluster is used for displaying Assistance, Journey or Navigation. The Mercedes me app also holds online content such as current gas station prices or availability of parking spaces in multi-storey car parks.
The A-Class is now able to drive semi-autonomously in certain driving situations with a taste of the very latest driving assistance systems similar to that from the brand’s flagship S-Class. To execute this, it has improved camera and radar systems allowing it to see up to 500 metres ahead of traffic.
Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC supports the driver in route-specific situations, and predictively adjusts the speed when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. This paired with Active Steering Assist is able to support the driver in normal driving by accessing throttle and brake with steering up to 130 km/h. While the assumptions that Active Steering Assist can only work following road lines and markings, it is rather the opposite. The system can stay active even if lane markings are unclear.
To add up, there is Active Emergency Stop Assist. Active Emergency Stop Assist brakes the vehicle in its lane to a standstill if the system detects no driver reaction while driving with Active Steering Assist turned on. When there is no steering wheel movement over a predefined period, the system informs the driver via visual and audible prompt to place the hands on the steering wheel.
Active Lane Change Assist support steering into the neighbouring lane. When the driver activates the indicator, the lane change to the left or right is only supported within ten seconds if the sensor system does not recognise any vehicles in the safety area. Depending on a range of operation criteria’s, Active Lane Change Assist works between 80 to 180 km/h.
Driving Assistance Systems
The latest driving assistance system in the A-Class includes Active Speed Limit Assist to detect speed sign limits detected by the camera apart from adjusting to speeds stored in the navigation system.
Map Based Speed Adaption
If Active Distance-Assist DISTRONIC of the Driving Assistance Package is turned on, the speed will be adapted automatically to route events in the navigation ahead such as curves, T-crossings, roundabouts or toll booths and turns.
Blind Spot Assist with warning function is now installed to warn about vehicles and bicycles moving past when opening the doors. When the vehicle is at a standstill, it also issues a visual warning in the exterior mirror that a vehicle is driving past in the critical area. The object driving past must be moving at more than 7 km/h.
Evasive Steering Assist helps the driver to avoid a pedestrian detected within a speed range of 20 to 70 km/h. Should the driver initiate the manoeuvre, the system provides assistance by calculating steering torque to support the movement and avoid the pedestrian.
Global Premiere Presentation
Images and videos are copyright of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz.
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