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2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class set for launch at Frankfurt Auto Show

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Khatir Soltani
The new B-Class from Mercedes-Benz is said to be very different from the outgoing model. So different, in fact, that the German brand is calling the redesign “a quantum leap”.

“No model change in the history of Mercedes-Benz has even seen so many new developments introduced in one fell swoop”, says Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Development, Mercedes-Benz Cars. That, by the way, is one of the longest job position titles we’ve even seen.

So the B-Class seems to be some sort of a revolution. It will benefit from a new turbo 4-cylinder gas engine with direct injection, a new diesel engine (probably only in Europe), a new dual-clutch transmission, a new manual transmission and new safety assistance systems.

Photo: GM Inside News

The B will remain front-wheel drive, and the new car’s body will be longer and lower to the ground. Seat height is noticeably lower by 86 mm or more than 3 inches. The car will also be pretty slippery, as testified by its drag coefficient of 0.26, which is excellent for a production vehicle. A so-called ECO Technology package, available later on, will reduce drag to 0.24.

A whole new range of 4-cylinder engines will power the B-Class; a 1.6-litre gas unit will equip both the B 180 (122 hp, 148 lb-ft) and the B 200 (156 hp, 184 lb-ft), while a 1.8-litre diesel will be found in the B 180 CDI (109 hp, 184 lb-ft) and the B 200 CDI (136 hp, 221 lb-ft). Transmission choices will include a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed, dual-clutch gearbox.

With a lower centre of gravity, a new rear suspension, a redesigned electromechanical power steering system and an upgraded stability-control system, the new B-Class is said to be “fascinatingly agile”. A sport suspension will be optional for an even more dynamic drive.

The B-Class will also receive some of Mercedes’ latest techno safety gadgets, such as a collision warning system, adaptive brake assist, a blind-spot monitor, ATTENTION ASSIST, active park assist, a backup camera and DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control.

The B-Class also features a modified version of the sandwich floor, and is already designed to accommodate future alternative powertrains. The new car should be on sale in Europe in November 2011, and we assume it will arrive in Canada around the same time.

Photo: GM Inside News

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
As a car enthusiast, he tests and compares vehicles from different categories through the eyes of the consumer, ensuring relevant and objective reviews.
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada