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Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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Wikipedia: Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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A line of compact cars produced by Mercedes-Benz since 1997. Specific models include: A170, A180, and A45 AMG.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Mercedes-Benz A-Class page on 6 January 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a compact car (subcompact in its first two generations) produced by the German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. The first generation (W168) was introduced in 1997, the second generation model (W169) appeared in late 2004, and the third generation model (W176) was launched in 2012.

Originally launched only as a five-door hatchback in 1997, the second generation W169 introduced a three-door hatchback. In the markets that the A-Class is or has been sold in, it has represented the entry level model of Mercedes-Benz. Having grown by 68 cm (27 in) since the original model, the 2012 A-class is now longer than the first-generation B-class.

First generation (W168; 1997–2004)

Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the autumn of 1997, the W168 A-Class was quite unusual for Mercedes-Benz featuring a front wheel drive layout and unusual tall yet short body. One innovation of the W168 was a frontal-impact absorption system called the "Sandwich" (see patents DE4326 9 and DE4400132 in the name of Mercedes-Benz). In the event of a violent frontal impact, the engine and transmission would slide underneath the floor below the pedals rather than entering the passenger compartment.

This was the first complete exterior designed by Coventry University trained Steve Mattin, for which he was named Autocar magazine's 'Designer of the Year'. Earlier, Mattin had mostly worked on design for the W210 E-Class in 1991. Concurrent to the W168, he designed the exterior of the W220 S-Class. The final design freeze occurred in January 1995, at 32 months before August 1997 start of production.

The W168 became infamous in 1997 after flipping over during the traditional "elk test" performed by the Swedish automobile publication Teknikens Värld. According to the report, the W168 overturned when manoeuvring to avoid the "elk". Mercedes initially denied the problem, but then took the surprising step of recalling all units sold to date (2,600) and suspending sales for three months until the problem was solved by adding electronic stability control and modifying the suspension. The company spent DM 2.5 billion in developing the car, with a further DM 300 million to fix it.

Between 1997 and 2004, 1.1 million first generation A-Class models had been sold.

The A-Class was facelifted in 2001, with minor alterations to the front and rear bumper design and the addition of a new 170 mm (6.7 in) longer wheelbase version. It was launched at the Geneva Motor Show.

Second generation (W169; 2004–2012)

The W169 is constructed with high-strength steel alloys with bonded joints. It has a large number of airbags including optional rear side airbags (for side-impacts in the backseats), optional side-curtain airbags, and standard head and thorax-protection side airbags. The front airbags are adaptive with two-stage gas generators operating according to the severity of accident.

The force exerted by the seat belt system during a collision adapts dynamically depending upon the collision characteristics. The 'active' head restraints (standard for driver and front passenger) give enhanced protection from neck injury, especially during rear collisions.

The angle of the A-pillar is flatter than the windshield angle. The cargo capacity of the W169 was increased by 15 percent compared with the W168.

Seven types of motors are available, and all are four-cylinders: four petrol (gasoline) (A 150, A 170, A 200, A 200 Turbo) and three diesel (A 160 CDI, A 180 CDI, A 200 CDI) partnered with either five- or six-speed manual gearbox. A continuously variable transmission system called "Autotronic Constantly Variable Transmission" (CVT) is an optional feature.

2008 update

The W169 Model facelift changes included redesigned front and rear bumpers and lights, and stop-start function option on A 150 and 170 models. Active Park Assist enables the car to parallel park itself, with only throttle and brake inputs required from the driver.

The five-door Saloon and the three-door Coupé vehicles were unveiled in spring 2008, alongside the refreshed 2009 M-Class and B-Class. Early models include A 160 CDI, A 180 CDI, A 200 CDI, A 150, A 170, A 200, A 200 TURBO.

Japan models went on sale in 2008-08-20. Early models 5-door versions of A 170, A 170 Elegance. Japan models of A 170 was renamed to A 180 in 2009-08-24.

Third generation (W176; 2012–present)

The production version of the third generation of A-Class vehicles was based on the 2011 Concept A-Class, and was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, It has an entirely different design, and larger than the previous two generations of the A-Class, with a total length of 4,292 mm (169.0 in), making it a fully-fledged small family car for the first time.

The vehicles were available in some markets from September 2012. Japan models went on sale in January 2013.

The third generation A-Class is designed to be a direct competitor to the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. It is intended to be more dynamic than its predecessor and is focused on younger owners.

A 45 AMG (2013–)

The A 45 AMG is a performance version of the A-Class, fitted with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine rated 360 PS (265 kW; 355 hp)@6000rpm and 450 N·m (332 lbf·ft)@2250-5000rpm, AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission with Momentary M mode, 4MATIC all-wheel drive, 3-stage ESP with ESP Curve Dynamic Assist and "ESP Sport Handling" mode, AMG sports suspension with independently developed front and rear axles, high-performance braking system with 350 x 32 millimetres front brake discs and 330 x 22 millimetres rear brake discs, and is identifiable by the "twin blade" radiator grille, AMG light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design and two square chrome-plated tailpipes.

The vehicle was originally announced to be unveiled in first quarter of 2013, and was later unveiled in Geneva Motor Show. Sales release date was set to 8 April 2013, with Germany market launch beginning in June 2013.


Photographs

Mercedes-Benz Sport A-Class Mercedes-Benz Sport A-Class
Photo ©2013 Norbert Aepli, Switzerland
This photograph is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
View photo of Mercedes-Benz Sport A-Class at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show - 3.6MB
Mercedes-Benz Sport A-Class Mercedes-Benz Sport A-Class
Photo ©2013 Norbert Aepli, Switzerland
This photograph is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
View photo of Mercedes-Benz Sport A-Class at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show - 3.8MB
Mercedes-Benz Sport A-Class Mercedes-Benz Sport A-Class
Photo ©2013 Norbert Aepli, Switzerland
This photograph is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
View photo of Mercedes-Benz Sport A-Class at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show - 3.4MB


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
2 July 2008Daimler und Tesla Motors vor möglicher Kooperation bei Elektroautos Wikinews
3 January 2013New Mercedes A-Class is available to lease hire at local Mercedes-Benz dealer | Mercedes-Benz HertfordshireMercedes-Benz Hertfordshire
1 February 2014Mercedes Benz: An A-Class ExperienceBobby Buys




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