First photos of new Merc A-class 28 | 03 | 2012

    THESE ARE THE FIRST official photos of the all-new Mercedes A-class which is due to enter Scottish showrooms in the summer. Prices are expected to start around £24,000, and Mercedes predicts 50% of buyers will be new to the three-pointed star.

    Set to go head-to-head with the new Audi A3, BMW 1-series and VW Golf, the third generation A-class is now a conventional hatchback.

    Completely re-engineered from the ground up, the new A-class delivers completely new dimensions. It's length has increased by by 487mm to 4292mm; it's 15mm wider at 1780mm, and it's considerably shorter, lower by 163mm. The new car's claimed drag co-efficient of just 0.26 is class-leading.

    “It’s completely new, down to the last detail,” Mercedes boss, Dieter Zetsche, said. "This is not just a rational car, but emotional and technological one too.

    "The styling wows you and the connectivity is unrivalled. New buyers will come to the family, perhaps younger ones, young at heart ones and more women."

    See more official photos of the all-new Merc A-class

    There's a highly sculptured look at the front, with the nose dominated by wide, two-slat grilles, angular LED flaunting headlamps and distinctive bumper styling.

    There's also a relatively short bonnet owing to the transverse placement of its engines. The new car also gets a rising waistline and shaped LED tail lamps. Just for good measure, the angled rear window is shadowed by a large spoiler within the top of the tailgate.

    There's a new range of powerplants for the A-class, all four-cylinder engines, with the petrels benefitting from turbocharging and direct-injection.

    The base 1.6-litre in the A180 delivers 113bhp and 108lb/ft of torque. There's also the widely used M270 engine which comes in two different states of tune: a 154bhp and 184lb/ft in the A200, and a 208bhp and 257lb/ft in the A250.

    The common rail diesels include two 1.8-litre units already seen in the B-class, with 107bhp and 147lb/ft in the A180CDI and 134bhp and 221lb/ft in the A200CDI. There's also is a larger 2.2-litre delivering 168bhp and 257lb/ft in the A220 CDI.

    Though a seven-speed dual clutch unit is offered as an option, a six-speed manual gearbox is standard. Both feature stop-start as part of a raft of fuel saving features that see the base A160 CDI achieve average CO2 emissions of just 99g/km. It is the first time a Mercedes production car has dipped below 100g/km.

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    Jim McGill


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