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Paris show: First Benz A-Class Sedan steps out

Slippery Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan revealed ahead of Paris show roll-out

26 Jul 2018

MERCEDES-BENZ’S first A-Class Sedan will boast the world’s most slippery shape for a production vehicle when it slides into the Benz range beside the imminent all-new fourth-generation A-Class Hatch at the Paris Motor show in October, ahead of an expected Australian showroom roll-out in mid-2019.
The front-wheel-drive three-box car – sort of a C-Class mini me – has a claimed coefficient of drag of just 0.22, which equals the current world-record holder, the Mercedes CLA four-door coupe.
But with a smaller frontal area of 2.19 square metres, the new sedan pips its stablemate in its ability to pierce the air for performance and fuel consumption gains.
The new small sedan is the second of eight models to be spawned from the new Benz small-car platform, but shares much of the running gear and technologies of the closely related A-Class hatch that will be launched in Australia next month.
The latest variant was conceived as a more practical alternative to the coupe-style CLA, with primary target markets being China and North America where conventional sedans are still big business.
However, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific public relations, product and corporate communications senior manager David McCarthy told GoAuto that the new model was expected to draw plenty of attention from Australian buyers as an alternative to the more expensive, larger C-Class.
It will also provide a counter to Audi’s A3 Sedan that comes in six variants in Australia with prices starting at $41,500 plus-on-road costs.
As small cars go, the new sedan will be a technology tour de force, even boasting semi-autonomous driving technology and Mercedes’ latest MBUX connectivity. 
At 4549mm long, the A-Class Sedan is 81mm shorter than the CLA, but sits on a wheelbase 30mm longer than the coupe.
Its short front and rear overhangs give it a wheel-in-each-corner sporty stance that Mercedes describes as “hot and cool at the same time”.
Despite its sedan styling, the roof is just 9mm taller than that of the CLA, but headroom – particularly in the back seat – is said to be greater, at 944mm.
Boot capacity is a handy 420 litres, well up on the new hatchback’s 370 litres but short of the CLA’s 470L.
Just two four-cylinder engines will be offered at launch – a 120kW/250Nm petrol and an 85kW/260Nm diesel, both matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The petrol variant – called A200 – consumes as little as 5.2 litres per 100km on the European combined test cycle, while the diesel 180d is even more frugal, drinking 4.0L/100km. Carbon dioxide emissions are 119 grams per kilometre and 107g/km respectively.
One of the most stunning features of the new model is its interior layout with its colourful LED ambient lighting – in a choice of 64 colours – and wide, free-standing and seamlessly joined twin digital display that combines the instruments in front of the driver and – towards the middle of the dash – the infotainment system that will carry Daimler’s latest MBUX connectivity system that is just about to debut in the A-Class Hatch.
The screens can be had in three sizes, mixing 7.0-inch and 10.25in screens side by side in a twin set-up.
MBUX – standing for Mercedes-Benz User Experience – apparently adapts to the user automatically, “creating an emotional connection”.
Voice control is activated with a catchy “hey Mercedes”.
Car-to-the-cloud communications keep drivers and passengers updated on road conditions, parking spaces and petrol station prices – among others – and will even send a message to the driver’s phone via an app if the car is bumped or towed away.
Active safety systems adopted from the flagship S-Class include the ability to drive semi-autonomously in certain conditions.
Camera and radar systems in the adaptive cruise control allow the vehicle to “see” 500 metres ahead, while sat-nav data is used to adjust speed when, for example, approaching a tight bend.
Like the latest high-end Mercedes vehicles, the A-Class Sedan also gets active lane changing which automatically switches lanes on a freeway when safe.
Matrix LED headlights are optional.
Initial models with their “cooking” engines get a torsion-beam rear axle, while high-performance variants – most likely including an AMG A45 road ripper – get a more sophisticated four-link rear axle.
Wheels range from 16 inch to 19 inch, depending on the spec.
Prices and final specifications for the Australian range will be announced closer to the launch, by when more variants are likely to be rolling from the production line.

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