by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: The 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class got snapped in Stuttgart

The new B-Class arrives this September and it will mark a definitive turnover in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. While the current model managed to attract a positive number of customers according to recent statistics, it was never perceived as a true Mercedes-Benz: the roomy interior and the elegant design didn't manage to counteract the obvious issues related to driving dynamics, overall efficiency and build quality. Having born in the cloudy Schrempp era, the first generation B-Class really had to resist some serious arguments against it to live up to these days and eventually surpass the little A-Class in what sales numbers are concerned. As for the forthcoming W 246, the minds that developed it had to deliver a tough work to fix the problems and create a whole new car both visually and technically.

I think they accomplished the task pretty well, if we have a look at the silhouette hidden under the minor FEP camouflage. The exterior styling has been clearly influenced by the nonconformist Concept BlueZERO if you look at the shape of the headlights, extensively fitted with colourful LEDs, and those weird seen on the side profile. To create a more aggressive stance, the roof line is lower compared to the outgoing model and slopes beautifully towards the back end of the car. Inside, the new B-Class will welcome the passengers with an attractive dashboard and quality materials, that are said to be even more premium than those found in the C-Class, according to Prof. Gorden Wagener, head of Mercedes-Benz design department. The spacious interior offers more storage places, more travelling comfort, more high-tech gimmicks such as the COMAND Online with multiple media and infotainment devices, as well as a revised luggage compartment boasting a greater capacity.

The MPV sits on a brand new modular platform called MFA - this will enable more powering solutions to be easily accommodated without changing the entire chassis or the basic architecture of the underpinnings. For the beginning, conventional internal combustion engines will be offered: Renault will supply the low displacement units up to 1.6 litres, whereas Mercedes-Benz will provide the high-end powerplants, such as the 2.1 litres 4-cylinder diesel engine with 204 hp and the 1.8 litres 4-cylinder petrol motor with the same peak output. To ensure a smooth and efficient run, each and every engine in the range will undergo the BlueEFFICIENCY treatment.

Some of the new assistance technologies which the Stuttgart-based constructor has premiered along with the latest models will make their way onto the upcoming B-Class. Moreover, an upgraded version of the Brake Assist system, which helps reduce the number of rear-end collisions, will also be available. The safety package will further include a high number of airbags for an ultimate passenger protection, pretensioned 3-point seat belts for all the five occupants, PRE-SAFE crash anticipation system, DISTRONIC PLUS, ABS, ESP and certainly many other.

When the new B-Class is launched for sale in Europe by the end of 2011, the standard price tag should reach around 22,000-23,000 euros. There are plans to market the MPV in the USA for the first time in history beginning with the second part of 2012.

Photo source: Motor Authority

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