Mercedes-Benz not planning a subcompact model smaller than the A-Class, CEO says

Article by Christian A., on May 19, 2014

According to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes-Benz is not planning any model smaller than the current A-Class compact. Still, Dieter Zetsche said that Smart brand could expand into the subcompact segment.

The reason that Mercedes-Benz is not planning a subcompact is that the segment is already highly competitive and dominated by its German rivals, such as the Audi A1 built by the Volkswagen Group and BMW Group’s MINI brand.

"We had a long debate about whether we should expand Mercedes into the B [subcompact] segment and we decided this is not going to happen," said Dieter Zetsche. Daimler will introduce this summer the third-generation Smart ForTwo minicar as well as the second-generation four-seat ForFour.

The new Smart ForFour will take on cars such as the Fiat 500 and the Opel Adam. So, if you were expecting a smaller Mercedes-Benz you’d better forget it and take a closer look at the A45 AMG.

This hot hatch is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that generates 360 hp (265 kW) and 450 Nm of torque.

Using a seven-speed AMG SpeedShift DCT transmission the A45 AMG hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.6 seconds, while top speed is limited at 155 mph or 250 km/h.

Interpreting the new vivid styling of Mercedes-Benz into a compact vehicle was a trial that the company found enjoyable to overcome. No other vehicle in this group is as advanced as the A-Class. Unquestionably characteristic for Mercedes is the sculpted form of the A-Class. The character outlines, particularly along the sides, provide the A-Class with form and conciseness. The new vivid styling is noticeable from the first look at the inside also.

Distinct edges and tightly drawn forms distinguish the all-new A-Class’s exterior design. The continual interaction between the concave and convex shapes makes a characteristic light play, especially along the car’s sides, which add to its singular look.

Among the characteristic traits of its lengthy, athletic front are a prominent V-shape, individual headlights, a radiator grille with centred Mercedes star, double slats at each side of that star, along with added air intakes along the sides. The dropping line evident in the silhouette disperses towards the automobile's front. The headlamp design, along with the arrangement of the functions of the lights inside, is a significant component of the design’s concept.

The designers configured the light clusters and LEDs that sit behind the headlight’s covering glass so that they produce the trademark flaring effect for the daytime running lights and indicator lights. This flare is comprised of the feature outline inside the headlamps, the LED components for the daytime driving lamps and the indicator bulb sets. This trademark look provides the vehicle with its lively appearance and so assists to create an all-new, sprightly face for Mercedes.

The flawless interaction of vivid design and superb aerodynamics is especially apparent in the roof, with its even surfaces and tight, arched curves. The profile exposes level, continuous lines that finish in a smooth edge. The roof spoiler, which handily conceals all the antennas, gives an additional athletic touch and shape to the roof arrangement. The beltline goes up to the back to achieve prominent wedge shape.

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