TTAC Photochop: Mercedes-Benz A-Class

ttac photochop mercedes benz a class

I was reading about Mercedes in the last issue of Auto Motor und Sport. Apparently, the German automaker's learned that the introduction of the A-Class negatively affected their premium brand image (Doh!). Things will be different for the entry-level mini-Merc come 2011. MB will ditch the sandwich platform and modular interior, and aim the newbie at a younger clientèle. With a dynamic silhouette, the new A-Class will appear as a coupe, intended to compete against the BMW 1-Series and the Audi A3 (the current CLC is sort of a C hatchback; bigger and more expensive than the other premium hatches). The cheapest of Merc's new platform is still under debate; MB officials are negotiating with VW, Fiat and BMW for a joint-venture for a cheaper front wheel-drive underpinnings. My rendering puts all that together and adds a dynamic sloped back, descending front window, new grille (seen on latest concepts) and the high-tech headlights we can expect for 2011.

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

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  • Michal Michal on Jun 16, 2008

    The original A-Class left a very bad taste in my mouth. It was very unreliable (I was a regular visitor back to the dealership for warranty work) and cheaply built. The plastics quality was truly shameful. Clever design ruined by rampant cost cutting. Common problems experienced by other users included seat handles breaking off, indicator levers breaking, automatic transmission failures (before 100k km) and oxygen sensors going bad. The last was a particularly nasty problem, as the sensor is built into the ECU. The entire unit must be replaced at $$$$. The final straw for me was the timing chain snapping before 70,000km. It ate the engine for lunch and required a complete rebuild. Despite being just out of warranty, DaimlerChrysler offered to pick up the entire repair cost. Thank goodness for that, otherwise I would have sold it for parts. The A-Class was meant to be an introductory model for young people to get them hooked on the brand, but it scared me away for life. The current one (W169) is pretty nice and MB appears to have learned from its many mistakes. Price is still quite high for what you get though.

  • Eh_political Eh_political on Jun 16, 2008

    The B-Class is sort of interesting, available in Canada, but not the US. I wonder if it is next on the chopping block.

  • GBG GBG on Jun 16, 2008

    This may make me sound like an old fart, but doesnt "Merc" commonly refer to that not so well known division of the Ford Motor Company, Mercury?

  • Tummy Tummy on Jun 17, 2008

    GBG: I think Merc only means Mercury in the US. Most other places in the world usually calls Mercedes-Benz, Merc. In Asia, a lot of places call it just Benz.

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