Everything A-Class: Mercedes Planning Eight New Vehicles On New Platform

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
everything a class mercedes planning eight new vehicles on new platform

Mercedes-Benz plans to launch eight cars off the back of the new A-Class and, unsurprisingly, a bunch of them will be crossovers. While North America will have to wait until fall for the A-Class sedan, Europe will see the hatchback much sooner. However, those models are just the start of the upscale brand’s drive to push the platform into every segment its size limitations allows.

The hatch will remain the smallest model, but CEO Dieter Zetsche says Mercedes-Benz needs to keep its rivals on their toes — and the automaker intends to tap the MFA2 platform for that honor. While the expanded lineup gives MB an edge universally, we know which automaker the company is most concerned with: BMW.

“The new BMW X2 is basically like the [current] GLA,” Zetsche recently explained to Top Gear. “And you will see a new GLA. As in other segments we’ll have two interpretations. So the GLA will be more in the SUV direction, and that will expand our scope. It gives us the possibility of doing something between the A-Class and the GLA.”

“[Mercedes] will further expand the SUVs. We need something more SUV than the GLA,” he said.

That would be the the GLB — a small seven-seater that has been seen testing around Germany in some of the ugliest automotive camouflage we’ve ever seen. The model is intended to supplement B-Class MPV, which is popular in Europe. Normally we would be unlikely to see anything even tangentially related to a Euro-spec minivan grace our roads, as the segment is still experiencing automotive purgatory in the land of the free and the home of the brave. However, the GLB isn’t an MPV. It’s more akin to a pint-sized G-Class than anything else. A lower-case G-Wagen crossover, if you will.

“There will be a three-box [sedan], mostly for the USA and Asia,” elaborated Doctor Zee. Most of the motoring community has heard buzzings that China would also receive a long wheelbase version of the A-Class sedan. If Mercedes has signed off on that, it is probably counting it for one of those eight slots — nullifying the possibility of a fourth crossover. But Zetsche’s claims make it sound like there may be a more car-like crossover below the GLA.

Something doesn’t add up. We know we have the A-Class hatchback and sedan, possibly a long-wheelbase model for China, the CLA, the GLA, the GLB, and the new B-Class. That’s only seven models unless Mercedes is doing more than just musing over the sporty, car-like GLA variant. The only alternative would be the CLA Shooting Brake, but we’ve heard it rumors that a the wagon was nixed by Daimler weeks ago.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on Apr 17, 2018

    BMW and VW do platform sharing way better than MB, especially on the small side. The transverse FWD BMW platform forms the basis for all Minis, the 2 series MPV (not available in NA), and the X1/X2, but you would never know if by the looks or drive - plus they all drive well. The Mercedes FWD platform that the A class and GLA are based on are mediocre to drive, lack utility, and they all share the same mediocre looks. The excellence of the E and S classes have never been in evidence in the FWD MB platforms, so the new one better offer a huge improvement if they want to stay in the small car game.

    • See 6 previous
    • Tariqv Tariqv on Apr 18, 2018

      @sportyaccordy Well you remain reality-blind apparently...Have you even ever seen or rode in a Megane? Having seen the new A-class interior in pictures and recent first drive impressions, there is absolutely no chance a consumer looking at it will choose the Megane if he/she values quality. Besides the ride/handling, NVH qualities and design are leagues ahead. So no, the public will not be choosing a Megane over the premium MB anytime soon.

  • Ernest Ernest on Apr 17, 2018

    Am I the only one around here old enough to remember that Cadillac (and Packard before them) went down this same road. We've seen this movie before, and it never ends well. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).