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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - B-Class

Paris show: Facelifted Benz B-Class unwrapped

Class warfare: The facelifted B-Class is in its second generation and when it arrives in Australia in early 2015 it will go up against a new rival – BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer.

Mercedes-Benz has shown off its new B-Class including an all-electric version

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Mercedes-Benz logo15 Sep 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

MERCEDES-BENZ has taken the wraps off its facelifted B-Class, revealing new front and rear styling, more in-car tech and an all-electric variant, ahead of its debut at the Paris motor show.

The revision comes three years after the launch of the second-generation five-door hatch which was a ‘re-invented’ version of a much boxier first-gen B-Class, and it is set to arrive in local showrooms early next year.

The latest updates bring a more assertive and sporty face to the car. The new bumper has a larger, lower mesh grille, the air-intakes are bigger and the daytime running lights are now integrated in the headlight fitting. LED headlights are now offered as an optional extra, too.

At the rear, a modified bumper brings new chrome trim and angular exhaust tips.

The cabin has been refined further, while in-car tech has received an upgrade including a larger eight-inch freestanding touchscreen and 12 different colour settings for the interior ambient lighting.

The revised B-Class comes with Benz’s next-generation telematics. Mercedes Connect Me allows drivers to access vehicle information such as fuel levels through a smart phone. There is also an emergency call system which notifies rescue services in the case of an accident.

Safety too, has been further enhanced with Collision Prevention Assist Plus adding partial autonomous braking, while the Attention Assist fatigue monitoring system now operates at high speeds and uses a five-bar display to inform the driver of their attention level.

Mercedes-Benz announced that four petrol engines and four diesels plus a natural gas and fully-electric variant will be available in Europe.

Owning a 10 per cent share in Tesla means Mercedes-Benz has been able to call on the EV company’s experience and technology in the development of the B-Class Electric Drive. The 132kW/340Nm electric motor almost matches the most powerful internal combustion engine in the B-Class range – the 155kW/350Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol from the B250 – and at 7.9 seconds it’s only 1.1 seconds slower from 0-100km/h than its fossil-fuel powered sibling.

While power and torque has remained the same for diesel and petrol variants, the engines are more efficient. Fuel consumption in the 90kW/200Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol in the B180 is down from 5.8 litres per 100km to 5.6L/100km. In the 100kW/300Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder diesel of the B200 CDI consumption is down from 4.6L/100km to 4.3L/100km.

Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system is offered on the B200 CDI diesel, although this has only been available for left-hand drive cars and may not make it to Australia.

Mercedes-Benz Australia told GoAuto there were no plans to add the B-Class Electric to the local range and the line-up of powerplants is likely to mirror what is on offer now.

With the new B-Class making its debut at the Paris motor show on October 2, the car will go on sale early in 2015.

The revised B-Class will arrive into the market to face a new adversary in the form of BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer which launched in August with a starting price of $44,400 excluding on-road costs.

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