2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Teased Ahead of 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Teased Ahead of 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • The next-generation B-Class represents "a quantum leap in the compact class," according to Mercedes-Benz.
  • The new B-Class features major advances in aerodynamics, powertrains, safety and technology.
  • In Europe, the new B-Class will offer a choice of two gasoline and two diesel engines, as well as a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

STUTTGART, Germany — Describing it as a "quantum leap in the compact class," Mercedes-Benz has released key technical details, plus a few teaser images, of its redesigned B-Class ahead of the car's official launch in mid-September at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

The new B-Class goes on sale in November in Europe and is expected to appear in U.S. showrooms next year, most likely as a 2013 model.

Mercedes said the new model will be lower than the current European B-Class, with a more aerodynamic shape. An optional sport package will drop ride height by another 0.8 inch and will bundle adjustable shocks with a variable-ratio direct-drive steering system.

For the European market, the new B-Class will offer a choice of four turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engines — two gasoline and two diesel. All will come with a standard stop/start system to maximize fuel economy.

The four-cylinder gas engines that power the B 180 and B 200 displace 1.6 liters. The base engine makes 121 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, while the more powerful unit is rated at 154 hp and 184 lb-ft.

The four-cylinder common-rail turbodiesels displace 1.8 liters. The 180 CDI makes 107 hp and 184 lb-ft, while the B 200 CDI delivers 134 hp and 221 lb-ft.

Either engine can be mated with a six-speed manual gearbox or a new 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic.

Eventually, Mercedes plans to offer a 156-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, and that is the most likely power source for the U.S. market. The company also has designed the B-Class to accommodate a variety of alternate power sources, including hybrid, electric and fuel cell.

The new B-Class offers one of the most comprehensive advanced-technology portfolios in the segment, including Adaptive Headlamp Assist, Blind Spot Assist/Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, Speed Limit Assist, Active Parking Assist, Linguatronic, Distronic Plus, Pre-Safe and radar-based Collision Prevention Assist with Adaptive Brake Assist.

Edmunds.com says: Pricing hasn't been announced, but don't be surprised to see a fully equipped B-Class in Europe, with all the high-tech bells and whistles, top out at well over $40,000.

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