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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Mercedes-Benz & Its Four New Compacts

    William Maley

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    January 18, 2012

    2012 is going to be an interesting year for the three pointed star. This is the year that will see the new SL roadster and GL SUV being launched. This is also the year when Mercedes will begin introducing to the US their FWD compact luxury cars. Car & Driver and Automotive News have learned about which models Mercedes will be bringing over within the next few years.

    First up is a sleek compact four-door sedan nicknamed the CLC. Spy shots of the CLC show it having the shape of the larger CLS. Power will come from a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine with direct injection, producing 210 HP and going through a new dual-clutch gear box.

    Next is the A-Class. Design will be similar from the A-Class concept shown at the New York Auto Show last year. The question is will the U.S. get the three-door, five-door, or both when the model is introduced sometime this year.

    Following that is a crossover on the A-Class platform, sources tell Car & Driver. The crossover will likely carry cues from the GLK SUV.

    Finally we get to the B-Class, Mercedes-Benz’s compact MPV will not be coming in its regular form, but possibly as an extended EV. Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes-Benz’s global sales boss told Automotive News that the U.S. could get a B-Class with a range extender.

    Source: Car & Driver, Automotive News

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    I like the A-Class or B-class idea, I like the B-class more than the A. I don't get the CLC, why do they need a FWD car to compete with the C-class, when FWD is not as good as RWD. And no more crossovers please. Luckily that will fail and Mercedes will give up on a FWD crossover the size of a roller skate.

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    The 'mercedes Spark' is coming !! :smilewide:

    Which means the Cadillac Spark-based model isn't far behind! Actually, the NG A-class is more Sonic-sized, I think...

    Very soon you will have MB lose a comparo against Chevrolet Spark.

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    As with BMW, M-Bs FWD models are just the small entry-level models...I don't see the serious models going FWD any time soon..

    The flaw in that theory is that BMW 'entry models' keep getting bigger & heavier, necessitating new models underneath. 3-series has gained something like 1500 lbs over the years and will soon be the 'middle' line with 2 or 3 models below it. It may not be soon, but no one saw ANY FWD BMWs coming...

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    The R-class is a bust, they should kill that thing unless it sells exceptionally well in Europe which I doubt. R-class is a drain in the brand. A and B class can be ways to lure in younger buyers and Mercedes retains about 60%the of their customers and I think the best in the industry is 64%.

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    I thought FWD was doing to dilute the brand.... at least thats what you say about FWD at Cadillac.

    FWD hurts when it is all you have or when your mid to large vehicles are FWD. Mercedes isn't making the E-class FWD, a subcompact car in FWD or AWD won't hurt Mercedes especially when they can offset it with V12 rear drive cars. And Mercedes already sells the A-class and B-class elesewhere and it hasn't hurt their brand at all. Cadillac has a more fragile brand image. Although if Cadillac made a Sonic based car with an ATS/CTS level interior and 200 hp base engine and 270 hp turbo 4 optional, I wouldn't mind. But any Cadillac ATS or larger should be RWD.

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    I thought FWD was doing to dilute the brand.... at least thats what you say about FWD at Cadillac.

    Just because your house is halfway engulfed in fire, and your stupid neighbor with a nicer McMansion sets his house on fire to match, you don't want to douse your house with gasoline when you should be dousing it with water.

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    smk4565~ >>"...a subcompact car in FWD or AWD won't hurt Mercedes especially when they can offset it with V12 rear drive cars."<<

    Disagree. MB sells a handful of RWD V-12s; the FWD 4-bangers are going to relatively swamp the roads in comparison. This will 'tilt the windmill of perception' with the general consumer.

    >>"And Mercedes already sells the A-class and B-class elesewhere and it hasn't hurt their brand at all."<<

    That is because mercedees doesn't have the same reputation/perception elsewhere that it relies on here in the U.S.. General consumer doesn't see mercedees taxis & garbage trucks & cargo vans and other dumpy utilitarian models all over; most folk here still think the brand is something special & unique & principled.

    Edited by balthazar
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