Mercedes-Benz starts rolling out A-Class model from Rastatt plant

Article by Anita Panait, on July 16, 2012

Mercedes-Benz rolled today the first of new-generation A-Class compact model off the production line of its Rastatt plant in Germany. The A-Class is Mercedes’ second new compact model, following the production start of the new B-Class at the same Rastatt plant in September 2011 and at its Kecskemét plant in Hungary at the end of March 2012.

To accommodate the production of the new compact models, Mercedes’ parent Daimler is pouring out around EUR1.2 billion to expand the Rastatt plant. Daimler has already completed the first phase of the expansion, spending EUR600 million to construct a new bodyshell building and to install new tools.

Daimler will be implementing the second phase of the expansion later this year, and has budgeted EUR600 million to be used for modifying the assembly line and as well as for installing corresponding equipment in the bodyshell production. Since mid-June 2012, Mercedes-Benz has already received more than orders for the new A-Class.

The carmaker, meanwhile, has already delivered more than 70,000 units of the new B-Class to customers since its market launch in November 2011.

Staying true to its motto, “the pulse of a new generation,” the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class sets new standards in the compact segment due to its impressive visual design, good power rating and respectable fuel efficiency. Vehicles of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class are powered by engines that has power rating ranging from 80 kW (109 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp).

The engines offer less Carbon Dioxide emissions at 98 g/km and a best-in-class drag coefficient value of 0.27.  The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class also boasts of providing world-class safety as it offers, among others, the radar-supported Collision Prevention Assist system. The base variant of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY, has a starting price of EUR23,978.50 (incl. 19% VAT) in Germany.

With a stance of 18 cm lower than its predecessor, the latest A-Class conveys style and active vibe at first look. This evolutionary design layout of the internationally acclaimed A-Class Concept was effectively used on the series production vehicle. The look of the latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class mirrors this latest Mercedes-Benz design strategy. The outcome is what is now universally known as a two-box design with a distinct attribute uniquely its own, an athletic body and an exemplary top-quality interior.

Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz Gorden Wagener said that incorporating the latest active design of the Mercedes-Benz into the compact segment was tough work but was really fun to do. No other vehicle in this class is as evolutionary as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The usual appearance of the Mercedes, which is a curved shape, is carried by the A-Class. The character lines, mainly on the sides, give the Mercedes-Benz A-Class shape and structure. The new active design is easily noticeable at first look on both the exterior and the interior.

Crisp edges and uniquely drawn surfaces define the body style of the latest A-Class. The consistent blend of convex and concave surfaces produce a wonderful mix of light, specifically along the vehicle sides, which adds to its one of a kind look.

The usual characteristics of the athletic front are its defined V-shape, radiator grille with Mercedes star at the center with twin slats on both sides of the star, individually installed headlights, and added side air intakes. The line which is totally visible on the side fades towards the car's front end. The headlights, along with its light configurations, are important elements of the latest style concept.

The LEDs installed in the headlight glass cover have been built to produce the unique "flare effect" for daytime driving indicators and running lights. The "flare" is composed of the characteristic line within the headlight, the LED modes for daytime running lights and bulbs for the indicators. This trademark Mercedes-Benz light effect provides the vehicle its dynamic appearance and also aids to create a new look for the Mercedes-Benz.

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