We found an exclusive preview of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Have a look!
Engle says that Mercedes embarked on the Compact Car project back in 2006. It was clear that the company would have to drop the clever, but expensive, sandwich platform and slant-mounted drivetrains developed for the original 1997 A-Class and used under today’s A- and B-Class models.
The year 2006 was taken up with developing the strategy for Mercedes’ new entry-level range, says Engle. His team then spent the next two years “working purely on digital models and digital engineering”. The first ‘hard models’ arrived in 2009 and, since then, Mercedes has racked up an incredible 8 million kilometres of ‘real-world’ development and durability testing.
This is a Mercedes-only project and the technology will not be shared with any other brand. It uses Mercedes engines (the same four-pot units will be found in the C- and E-Class), re-engineered for transverse installation and new transmissions and will be built in Germany.