The new-generation A-Class from Mercedes-Benz reconciles the conflicting aims of sporty performance and enhanced comfort: With DYNAMIC SELECT, the driver is able to change the best-seller’s characteristics in a matter of seconds – at the touch of a button the A-Class drives in a particularly comfortable, sporty or efficient manner. Mercedes‑Benz has also increased the range of available engines. The A 160 with 75 kW (102 hp) is the new entry-level model. The new efficiency champion is the 80-kW (109-hp) A 180 d BlueEFFICIENCY Edition with CO2 emissions of 89 g/km. And with its dramatic design in the style of the successful MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 team, the special “Motorsport Edition” model will particularly appeal to racing fans. The Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC also benefits from the model update. With a peak output of 280 kW (381 hp) and maximum torque of 475 Nm, the entry-level model from Mercedes-AMG is the world’s most powerful compact sports model. The revised gear ratios, aerodynamic fine-tuning and the new DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes raise overall performance to a higher level, underlining the claim to leadership in this market segment.
“With the DYNAMIC SELECT driving programme selector, the new chassis with adaptive damping and LED high-performance headlamps, the new generation of the A-Class demonstrates just how high the level of innovation can be in this segment,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
“2012 was a year of paradigm change in the compact class. The new A-Class was a radical departure from the preceding series. And a successful one: as the most progressive model in the compact class, the model series has done much to make the Mercedes-Benz brand more youthful. With this model update we are now meeting the wishes of many customers for even more comfort with no loss of dynamic performance,” says Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales.
The chassis: comfort at the touch of a button
With DYNAMIC SELECT the vehicle characteristics can be adjusted in seconds at the touch of a button, as the system modifies the engine, transmission, suspension, steering and air conditioning at the driver’s behest. The four driving modes “Comfort,” “Sport,” “Eco” and “Individual” can be conveniently selected using the switch in the upper control panel.
The A 200 d 4MATIC, A 220 4MATIC, A 220 d, A 220 d 4MATIC, A 250 4MATIC, A 250 Sport and A 250 Sport 4MATIC models are equipped with DYNAMIC SELECT as standard. The system is also included as standard in all models with 7G-DCT, AMG Line or a lowered suspension. DYNAMIC SELECT is available on request for all other engine variants except the two BlueEFFICIENCY Edition models.
DYNAMIC SELECT allows a particularly broad range of setting options in combination with the new suspension with adaptive damping (optional extra). In this case the driver is able to modify the vehicle’s damping characteristics using the DYNAMIC SELECT Switch. There is a choice between Comfort mode with comfortable damping characteristics and Sport mode for a sporty and more taut damper set-up. Acceleration sensors are used to measure the vehicle’s body movements, and other current information about the vehicle status such as the steering angle, steering speed and yaw rate is included when calculating the damping characteristics. A proportional valve is actuated electronically at each shock absorber to control the oil flow and therefore the damping characteristics. The damping system is infinitely variable, and the configuration is individual for each wheel.
The design: dynamically curved surfaces and a fresh ambience
Striking lines, dynamically curved surfaces and coupé-like window lines characterise the exterior of the A-Class, following the design philosophy of sensual purity. The form of the new, more arrow-shaped front bumper takes its lead strongly from the Concept A-CLASS (2011) concept vehicle. With a diamond grille, new LED high-performance headlamps (optional extra) and newly designed tail lamps with dual tailpipe trim integrated flush into the bumper, the new generation emphasises the sportiness and dynamics of the successful compact class model series.
An instrument cluster of tubular design with classy dial graphics and anodised switches upgrades the high-quality interior, as does the large, free-standing and frameless display of the infotainment system, which is now optionally available with a larger 20.3-cm (8-inch) screen. New colours and materials, as well as new finishes for the trim in the dashboard, ensure a fresh ambience. New features include sahara beige / black leather in the Exclusive package and a new seat design with red or green highlights in the Style line.
Optional LED High Performance headlamps and ambience lighting which can be individualised with twelve colours and five dimming levels – the equipment range for the A-Class has been judiciously expanded in many areas. Also new is seat cushion depth adjustment by up to 60 mm – a standard feature in all equipment lines.
With its dramatic design in the style of the successful MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 team, the special “Motorsport Edition” model will particularly appeal to racing fans. Areas of the front and rear bumper trim are painted in petrol green, and the same colour adorns the rim flanges of the AMG light- alloy wheels. The AMG rear aerofoil is embellished with petrol green highlights, as are the exterior mirrors (only in conjunction with A 250 Sport and A 250 Sport 4MATIC). Eye-catching details in the interior include the petrol green surrounds of the air vents and the contrasting topstitching in petrol green. The sport seats upholstered in black leather/DINAMICA microfibre have petrol green decorative strips, as have the seat belts. The “Motorsport Edition” is available for all engine variants from the A 200/A 200 d upwards (except the A 45).
The A 160 rated at 75 kW (102 hp) is the new entry-level model of the A-Class. The new efficiency champion is the 80 kW (109 hp) A 180 d BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, which is happy with an NEDC fuel consumption of just 3.5 l/100 km. Its CO2 emissions are 89 g/km. Numerous measures to enhance efficiency have made these outstanding figures possible. Also new are the manual transmission versions of the dynamic models A 250 and A 250 Sport.
The A 220 d now has a slightly higher output of 130 kW (177 hp), an increase by 5 kW (7 hp), while the sport models A 250 Sport and A 250 Sport 4MATIC now develop 160 kW (218 hp) instead of 155 kW (211 hp) previously. In combination with the 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission, the A-Class now has “Launch Assist” for even faster acceleration from standstill. All in all, the model range counts 17 versions (including the Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC). The “ECO display” also takes a new form to assist the driver in maintaining an environmentally friendly style of driving.
The Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC also benefits from the model update. With a maximum output of 280 kW (381 hp) and a peak torque of 475 Nm, the entry-level model from Mercedes-AMG is the world’s most powerful compact sports model. This power pack delivers a dynamic performance that is unrivalled: it accelerates from rest to 100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds. This means that the new Mercedes‑AMG A 45 takes 0.4 seconds less for this exercise than its predecessor. At the same time, fuel consumption has been kept at the previous level: no other high-performance model in this category can match its NEDC minimum fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres (corresponds to 162 g/km CO2).
Mercedes-Benz is also using the A-Class model update as the opportunity to introduce the new nomenclature for the drive variants in this model series. While the petrol models have no suffix, the small letter “d” replaces the previous “CDI” – the A 200 CDI is now called the A 200 d, for example.
The new-generation A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to be available with comprehensive smartphone integration: Apple® CarPlay® (for iPhone® owners) and MirrorLink® will be available starting in early 2016.
In the case of e.g. Apple® CarPlay® the system supports telephoning, navigation and listening to music, receiving and sending text messages and emails as well as Siri voice control. For information about the services offered by MirrorLink®, please see the latest overview here.
At the same time, the new infotainment generation makes its way into the A-Class. Operation is now even more intuitive, with the functions delivering a special experience thanks to animated menus and visual depictions on the even larger display of the multimedia system. On request the screen diagonal now measures 20.3 cm (8 inches), making it at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) larger than before.
Intelligent Drive: improved support, optional LED headlamps
With numerous driving assistance systems from the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST to DISTRONIC PLUS distance control, the A-Class is able to give its driver comprehensive support and protection. The assistance systems, which fuse data from various sensor technologies as part of the ‘Intelligent Drive’ concept and thereby significantly enhance safety and comfort, were further advanced in part. For example, the standard COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS extends the functions of the previous COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST (radar supported proximity warning and braking assistance by Adaptive Brake Assist) with autonomous partial braking to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.
The drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST (standard) has been similarly upgraded: operating within an extended speed range (60 – 200 km/h), it now uses a five-stage bar display to visualise the driver’s current attention level.
Apart from their distinctive look, the LED high-performance headlamps (optional extra) offer added safety at night thanks to their broad light distribution and a colour temperature approximating daylight.
Comfort at the touch of a button
Should the A-Class deliver a comfortable, sporty or especially efficient ride? DYNAMIC SELECT allows the vehicle characteristics to be modified in a matter of seconds at the touch of a button. DYNAMIC SELECT offers a particularly broad range of settings in combination with the new suspension with adaptive damping.
DYNAMIC SELECT modifies the characteristics of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering and air conditioning according to the driver’s wishes. The control units of the individual vehicle components receive a signal and change the particular parameters. At the same time, the selected programme is shown as the current status in the instrument cluster and as a pop-up message in the media display.
Four driving programmes can be selected with the switch in the upper control panel:
- Each time the ignition is restarted, the balanced, comfort-oriented “Comfort” mode is active as the default setting.
- More agility and dynamic performance come courtesy of the “Sport” driving programme, which is characterised by a more spontaneous throttle response, sportier steering feedback and firmer damper settings (in conjunction with the new suspension with adaptive damping system, see below).
- The “Eco” driving programme is designed to keep fuel consumption to a minimum. In addition to the accelerator pedal curve, the output of the seat heating, rear defrost and climate control system are also modified. The so-called “Sailing” function also supports this. If the driver removes his or her foot from the accelerator, the vehicle uses its own kinetic energy and glides along the road in a fuel-saving way.
- The “Individual” driving programme enables various parameters – from the steering and the powertrain to the suspension – to be adjusted to suit personal preferences. This makes it possible, for example, to combine light and comfortable steering characteristics with a sporty firm suspension set-up. The configuration is selected with the help of the central controller on the media display.
The A 200 d 4MATIC, A 220 4MATIC, A 220 d, A 220 d 4MATIC, A 250 4MATIC, A 250 Sport and A 250 Sport 4MATIC models are equipped with DYNAMIC SELECT as standard. The system is also included as standard in all models with DCT, AMG Line or one of the lowered suspensions. DYNAMIC SELECT is available on request for all other engine variants except the two BlueEFFICIENCY Edition models.
DYNAMIC SELECT offers the full range of setting options in combination with the new suspension with adaptive damping (optional extra). In this case the driver is able to modify the vehicle’s damping characteristics using the DYNAMIC SELECT Switch. There is a choice between Comfort mode with comfortable damping characteristics and Sport mode for a sporty and more taut damper set-up. Even in ‘Comfort’ mode the damping forces are automatically adjusted instantly to the handling dynamics of the vehicle, for example in case of evasive manoeuvres. In Sport mode the effect of the shock absorbers is increased. This enables a significantly more agile driving style. Acceleration sensors measure the vehicle’s body movements, and other current information about the vehicle status such as the steering angle, speed of steering angle change and yaw rate is included when calculating the damping characteristics. A proportional valve is actuated electronically at each shock absorber to control the oil flow and therefore the damping characteristics. The damping system is infinitely variable, and the configuration is individual for each wheel.
The suspension experts at Mercedes-Benz were already experimenting with the variance of the damping characteristics before an operational prototype was available: To this end, the engineers fed the so-called ride simulator at the development centre in Sindelfingen with the surface data from real-life test routes and the corresponding suspension data of the adaptive damping system of the A‑Class. In this way, it was possible to conduct virtual test drives with the new suspension on the two seats of the ride simulator at an early stage of the development process – followed by the usual extensive test programme.
The new suspension with adaptive damping is available for all engines except for the two BlueEFFICIENCY Edition models. The two Sport models can be optionally equipped with the AMG-tuned AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adaptive damping.
In addition, these three suspension set-ups are available for the A-Class:
- Comfort suspension (standard)
- Comfort suspension with ride-height lowering (optional, includes sports direct steering and DYNAMIC SELECT). As part of this the body is lowered by 15 mm at the front axle and by 10 mm at the rear axle.
Sports suspension with ride-height lowering (standard with AMG Line, includes sports direct steering and DYNAMIC SELECT). Through the firmer set-up of the springs and damping, the sports suspension facilitates a sportier driving style without any great loss of comfort. The ride is likewise lowered by 15 mm at the front axle and by 10 mm at the rear axle.
Final polish in many details
LED high-performance headlamps and ambience lighting which can be customised with twelve colours and five dimming levels – the equipment range for the A-Class has been expanded in many areas. Also new is the seat cushion length adjustment by up to 60 mm. With its dramatic design in the style of the successful MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 team, the new “Motorsport Edition” special model will particularly appeal to motor racing fans.
With the lines Style, Urban and AMG Line as well as the design packages Night package, Exclusive package and AMG Exclusive package, Mercedes-Benz adheres to the proven product logic for the A-Class. The modifications are in the details: For example, a new feature for the Style line is the design of the sports seats with ARTICO man-made leather and Messancy fabric with green or red highlights, and the combination of sahara beige and black leather in the Exclusive package. The two Sport models A 250 Sport and A 250 Sport 4MATIC “engineered by AMG” continue to be available and their character has been sharpened further.
The new or significantly expanded equipment features at a glance:
- In addition to their distinctive visual appeal, the LED high-performance headlamps boost night-time driving safety thanks to broad light distribution, a daylight-simulating colour temperature and low energy consumption. On unlocking the vehicle, the driver is welcomed by the “coming home” function with its unusual light show. The daytime running lamps first light up in blue, followed by a soft transition to white.
- A new feature of the Seating Comfort package is the adjustable seat cushion length for driver and front passenger. The thigh support can be extended by up to six centimetres and consequently offers better seating comfort in particular for tall people. As before, the other components of the Seating Comfort package are the height-adjustable front passenger seat and the seat cushion angle adjustment for the driver’s and front passenger’s seat. The Seating Comfort package is included in all design and equipment lines.
- Ambient lighting, available as an option, creates a unique feel-good atmosphere inside the vehicle with twelve different colours which can be dimmed in five stages. The LEDs of the ambient lighting are positioned in the front and rear footwells, in the door handle recesses, the front and rear head restraints of the sports seats and in the cup holders. They also serve as indirect lighting for the door handles in the door cards. On entering the vehicle the driver is also welcomed by a sophisticated lighting effect.
- The optionally available reversing camera has an impressive new 180‑degree wide-angle view, a higher resolution and integrated dirt deflection.
With petrol green highlights: the “Motorsport Edition” special model
With its dramatic design in the style of the successful MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 team, the “Motorsport Edition” special model will particularly appeal to motor racing fans. Areas of the front and rear bumper trim are painted in petrol green, and the same colour adorns the rim flanges of the AMG light- alloy wheels. The AMG rear aerofoil is embellished with petrol green highlights, as are the exterior mirrors (only in conjunction with A 250 Sport and A 250 Sport 4MATIC). Eye-catching details in the interior include the petrol green surrounds of the air vents and the contrasting petrol green topstitching on e.g. the dashboard, floor mats, the armrest in the centre console and the armrests on the doors. The sports seats upholstered in black leather/DINAMICA microfibre have petrol green decorative strips, as have the black seat belts.
The special model, which is based on the AMG Line and the Sport models respectively, comes as standard with the Night package, the LED high-performance headlamps, the AMG Exclusive package and the Audio 20 USB. The “Motorsport Edition” is available for all engine variants from the A 200/A 200 d on up (except the A 45). Customers can choose from cirrus white, night black, cosmos black, polar silver, mountain grey and designo mountain grey paint finishes.
Success story: Two out of three customers new to Mercedes-Benz
The new generation of the A-Class entered the market in September 2012. Owing to the great success enjoyed by this model around the world, it is manufactured not only in Rastatt, but, since August 2013, also by the Finnish production specialist Valmet Automotive. Sales soared by more than 46% in Great Britain last year, and by more than 50% in the growth market of China. However, most A-Class models continue to be sold to customers in Germany.
Around one in two drivers of a Mercedes-Benz A-Class or B-Class, GLA or CLA in Germany and Western Europe previously drove a competitor vehicle. In the case of the A-Class, no less than two out of three European customers come from competing brands. The Mercedes-Benz brand has also undergone a noticeable rejuvenation since the introduction of the new compact models. Nowadays, the average age of European drivers owning the new A-Class is around 13 years less than for the preceding model series. In China, the average age is 34 years.
The descriptions and information apply to the international Mercedes-Benz model range and may vary from country to country.