By on March 6, 2012

“A stands for attack,” pronounced  Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler Benz, in Geneva, With a quivering stach, Dr. Z unveiled Daimler’s new attack dog, the new A-Klasse.

It will be a trans-atlantic attack: The new A class hatchback will Daimler’s  first compact sold in the United States, Automotive News [sub]  says.

The A class should be at dealers in Europe by September. It is expected to go on sale in the United States in 2014.

The car will be sent to attack the BMW 1 series and the Audi A3.

 

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14 Comments on “Geneva Auto Show: Daimler Attacks With New A-Class...”


  • avatar
    CJinSD

    This car could do for Mercedes-Benz in the US market what the Cimarron did for Cadillac. No gearshift lever in a car that already rejects all perceived brand values? Brilliant.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    A friend of mine – last name Schmitt – met a Schwartz a few years back.

    Her name was Anne, but Schmitt’s dad’s girlfriend was also named Ann.

    So they nicknamed Schwartz “Griff”, short for “Angriff,” or “attack”.

    The name has stuck ever since, and now the Schwartz is a Schmitt.

    So when I see these on the road, I will call them GRIFFS!

  • avatar
    MZ3AUTOXR

    Why does Mercedes see the need to compete (at least in the US) against a couple of cars that, let’s face it, are not setting too many sales records?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      CAFE.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      CAFE would be a big factor, but you also have to consider that automakers are guessing what the market will want sometime down the road. If gas is $4/gallon now, what cars will be in demand if it’s $5 or $6? They want to have established themselves in the small car market before/if that market pays off.

      If automakers only ever sold what people want today, they would never have anything new in the pipeline when the market shifted.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    If you see a lot of money on the hoods of these cars, what’s that going to do to the MB “aura”? They would have been better off to give it a new nameplate and go for a semi-lux image, making the MB the preferred step up. I’d suggest maybe something like “Stuttgart”.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    As the former owner of a C32 AMG who was regularly infuriated by the transmission, I can’t imagine buying an A-Class without a manual gearbox – I’d march straight over to Bayerische Motoren Werke. Who is the target market for this – rich fathers of recent female high school grads?

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      I had a C43 AMG and was also regularly infuriated by the transmission. I think it was the same 5 speed auto.
      (1) Torque converter stall speed was too low–slow off the line.
      (1.5) Also a fault of the torque converter design: car pushed way to hard at idle… couldn’t bring the car to a stop smoothly because, with the engine pushing, you had to apply more breaking to come to a complete stop. With the more breaking, the car lurched when you came to a complete stop–lifting slightly just as the car was stopping resulted in the car not stopping at all. Driving in “winter” mode caused the transmission to stay in second while stopping, but what’s the point of that–you now have a 4 speed that goes 70 MPH in the launch gear.
      (2) Fast shifts sometimes, but in almost all cases the shifts were jerky.
      (3) The high gears weren’t high enough for efficient highway cruising. 80 MPH was about 3000 RPM for a 4.3L V8 car stuffed in a compact. The shift from 4th to 5th was only about 20% higher gearing; at the least make that 40%.
      (4) Oh yeah… $7000 remanufactured transmission at about 60,000 miles (thanks to previous owner).

      Other than that, the C43 was terrific!

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Does anybody else see this and think “2012 Dodge Caliber is Daimler still owned Chrysler”?

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    I’m going to go against the grain here and say that I like it. My wife owns an Audi A3, which is probably the most underrated vehicle from Germany sold in the US right now, and I think that the new A class (at least visually) does the A3 better than the current A3, and possibly the new boring looking one Audi has at Geneva right now.

    I have always found it odd that the readers/commentors of this site eschew the value of a simple, fun to drive, light car available with a stick and decent interior appointments, which also coveting the wagon/hatch arrangement. The A3 (and the A class?) is all of that, but here it’s just derision of the entire class of vehicles. doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I like it… I still have a soft spot for hatchbacks, and a luxury hatch with a 6-speed would kick ass in my book. I hope the shared platform Infiniti sees light of day too! Choices are good!

  • avatar
    redav

    Normally, this is the type of thing I’d be into, but it’s just not doing it for me.

  • avatar
    PJ McCombs

    Looks great compared to the taller, goofier A-Classes that have come before. Probably have an easier time with the Moose Test, too.


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