The New Mercedes Benz A-Class | Part Three

The New Mercedes Benz A-Class

Mercedes Benz A-Class

Premiere for new rear axle and selective damping system

The new A-Class also offers a range of new features in terms of driving safety and roadholding. The main technical chassis innovation is the parabolic rear axle which offers precision tracking and good anti-roll support when cornering. The rear axle therefore makes an important contribution to the exemplary driving safety, dynamic handling and high levels of drive comfort experienced in the new A-Class.

The chassis of the compact Mercedes car features another special innovation fitted as standard: a newly developed selective damping system, which is a world first in automotive construction. Thanks to this system, the shock absorber forces are adapted to the current driving situation.

Greater performance with improved fuel consumption

More performance, more torque, increased driving pleasure and enhanced fuel economy – these were the objectives laid down when developing the engines used in the new A-Class. The new range will also feature seven four-cylinder engines – including three newly developed CDI direct fuel injection models and one new 193 bhp turbocharged petrol engine. When compared with their predecessors, the performance of the petrol and diesel engines used in the new A-Class has increased by up to 38 per cent and torque levels have improved by up to 46 per cent. Even with these higher performance levels, the fuel consumption of the petrol models has fallen by up to 10 per cent. All engines satisfy the stringent EU-4 exhaust gas limits and a particulate filter system can be supplied on request for the diesel engines.

The three newly developed CDI diesel engines are based on second-generation common-rail technology which operates with dual pilot fuel injection and a higher fuel injection pressure (1600 bar). This and other measures result in a considerable increase in performance and torque, a drop in exhaust gas emissions and audible improvements in noise comfort.

Fuel consumption of the CDI models in the NEDC cycle is 57.6 mpg to 52.3 mpg, thereby equalling the exemplary level achieved in the former compact Mercedes car. The A160 CDI can travel around 680 miles on one tank (54 litres).

On request, all models of the new A-Class can be supplied with the newly developed AUTOTRONIC continuously variable automatic transmission. This is the first Mercedes transmission to function following the principle of a "Continuously Variable Transmission". The ratios are modified on a continuously variable basis using a pulley variator and thrust link belt. With this system, the A-Class can accelerate without interrupting traction and the engine reaches its maximum performance output faster than with a standard automatic transmission. The AUTOTRONIC also delivers higher levels of driving and noise comfort.

continues... | Part Four
Published 22 June 2004 Melanie Carter

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