Next Mercedes A-Class to be launched at 2018 Geneva motor show
Future hatchback will get new, larger underpinnings and hybrid option; top AMG A45 will produce 400bhp
by Greg Kable
12 October 2017
Mercedes-Benz will reveal its most luxurious and technically advanced A-Class at the Geneva motor show next March, so it is moving development of its future rival to the BMW 1 Series into the final stages.
Spotted recently wearing light covers on public roads in Germany, the model will be 10mm longer, adopting a new floorpan and body structure that are claimed to provide significant increases in rigidity. This, in turn, aims to give the new model, which will also rival the Audi A3, vastly improved refinement.
The increase in the car’s length is concentrated almost wholly within the wheelbase, providing improvements in interior packaging and the scope for larger rear door apertures for ease of entry and exit. The boot capacity has also grown beyond the nominal 341 litres of today’s model.
Underpinning the new A-Class is a redeveloped MFA (modular front architecture) and a chassis featuring MacPherson-strut front and multi-link rear suspension. It supports Mercedes’ Drive Select function, which allows the driver to alter the characteristics of the steering, engine mapping, gearbox software and damping using at least four different modes.
The roomier cabin has a brand-new dashboard that features higher-grade materials, digital instruments and a new touch-based Comand 5 infotainment system. There is also a new steering wheel with touchpad controls, new sport seats and a raft of new driver assistance systems as part of Mercedes’ suite of Level 2 autonomous driving functions - benefiting from tech first demonstrated in the S-Class.
Mercedes sales boss Britta Seeger hinted to Autocar earlier in the year that this new tech would be integrated, giving the A-Class the potential to steer and brake itself up to certain speeds. It'll do this using systems that are part of the car's lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control technology.
The future A-Class is the first of up to eight new compact cars, which include replacements for today’s B-Class, CLA and CLA Shooting Brake, as well as the GLA. There will also be an A-Class Saloon (and its own 400bhp A45 variant), a GLB and a possible new seven-seat version of the GLB.
The new A-Class and its seven compact car siblings will feature a range of new four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines — all claimed to offer better economy and emissions than today’s units.
Kicking off the line-up will be the new M282 petrol engine. Developed in conjunction with parent company Daimler’s alliance partner, Renault, it will first be offered in 1.4-litre guise, providing the next A-Class with a new entry-level point. A 1.2-litre version of this engine has also been engineered through to production maturity, although doubts remain over whether it will be used by Mercedes or remain exclusive to Renault.
Above it will be the M260 petrol engine, which has been developed in 1.6-litre and 2.0-litres guises. Both versions are planned to appear in the next A-Class in a variety of tunes. In its most powerful form, the M260 will feature a belt-driven generator capable of operating as a mild hybrid, with electrically assisted boosting and step-off in combination with a 48V electrical system.
The diesels will all be based around Mercedes’ latest 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, the OM654, and be available in up to three states of tune, according to engineering sources at the company’s Sindelfingen R&D centre.
A plug-in hybrid version is also planned as a rival to the Volkswagen Golf GTE. Details remain scarce, although it is expected to run the 1.4-litre version of the M282 four-cylinder petrol engine in combination with an electric motor housed within the forward section of Mercedes’ new nine-speed DCT gearbox. It will be one of a number of EQ Power-branded drivelines.
Insiders have suggested to Autocar that the lithium battery pack for the new plug-in A-Class will possess sufficient energy density for an all-electric range of up to 31 miles.
The new A-Class will use revised versions of today’s six-speed manual and seven-speed DCT gearboxes. Selected models will get the optional nine-speed DCT unit that supports a coasting mode together with kinetic energy regeneration. Alongside standard front-wheel drive, Mercedes will make the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system available on higher-end models.
Qualche notizia tecnica sulla prossima Kl. A. La presentazione verrà al salone di Ginevra, il pianale sarà un’ evoluzione di quella attuale con un passo aumentato di 10 cm. Ci saranno 2 tablet al posto del quadro strumenti. La versione 45 AMG avrà 400 cv. Renault e Daimler hanno sviluppato insieme un 4 cilindri benzina declinato in varie cilindrate da 1.2 a 1.6. Il Diesel sarà quello della Kl. E. Ci sarà anche una versione plug in ibrida con un 1.4 a benzina. Secondo autocar ci saranno come automatici sia il doppia frizione che il 9 marce ( autobild diceva il contrario).