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Mercedes-Benz announces new B-Class

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The new sports tourer from Mercedes-Benz has been announced, it’ll go on sale in the UK in March 2012 after its initial premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The new B-Class is set to feature a host of improvements over its predecessor, and will benefit from improved fuel consumption and CO2 figures, as well as improved gearboxes, driving dynamics and safety equipment.

Mercedes-Benz is so pleased with it that Dr. Thomas Weber, who is Head of Development for company, said "No model change in the history of Mercedes-Benz has ever seen so many new developments introduced in one fell swoop."

Externally the new B-Class is bold, with prominent lines along the sides, a large grille and a low-down stance. The design is exceptionally aerodynamic, which helps to improve the all important fuel economy figure, which is yet to be announced.

Power comes from a range of four cylinder engines, both petrol and diesel, all of which are turbocharged. All models come with stop/start technology as standard.

The 1.6-litre petrol will be initially available with two power outputs – 122hp as the B180 and 156hp as the B200. Both produce peak torque - 200Nm for the B180 and 250Nm for the B200 - from low down the rev range at 1,250rpm.

B-Class 2012 (2)

The diesel engines, both 1.8-litre units, are available with 109hp as the B180 CDI and 136hp as the B200 CDI. Maximum torque from the B180 CDI is 250Nm, and is 300Nm from the B200 CDI.

Both manual and automatic transmissions are available, the latter of which is a dual-clutch unit with seven speeds, so the economy losses associated with automatic transmissions won’t be a problem.

The B-Class is fitted with radar-based collision detection and a brake assist system as standard, as is a tiredness monitor, hill hold assistance and parking assistance. Blind-spot assistance, adaptive headlamp assistance and radar assisted sat-nav are amongst the optional safety systems.

Another important safety feature is the PRE-SAFE system. In critical situations, such as when the car is skidding dangerously, this system prepares the car for an accident by automatically closing windows and the sunroof, as well as tensioning the seat belts and adjusting front seats (providing they have memory function) into the optimal and safest position.

High quality materials are used in the cabin, with a selection of different options to appeal to different tastes, whether they be traditional, modern or sporty. The three large central vents with cruciform nozzles are similar to those found in the SLS-AMG supercar.

COMAND Online multimedia will be available, allowing users to connect to the web when on the move and to download pre-set routes to the sat-nav system from Google Maps. The interface is displayed on either a 5.8- or 7-inch TFT screen set above the vents in the dashboard.

Details on pricing, trim levels and standard equipment are yet to be announced, but you can expect some more information after the cars premiere at Frankfurt. For more Frankfurt Motor Show coverage follow our dedicated page here

B-Class 2012 (1)



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