2013 Mercedes Benz A Class
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is porta up a new chapter in the squeeze section: markedly affectional in excogitation, with sinewy engines ranging from 80 kW (109 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), passing effective with emissions from hardly 98 g of CO2/km and a best-in-class haul coefficient of 0.27. Simultaneously the new modeling underlines that for Mercedes-Benz, guard is not a doubt of damage – the stock spec includes, amongst over-the-counter things, the radar-based Hit Bar Attend scheme. Prices in Germany commencement at €23,978.50 (incl. 19% VAT) for the A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY.
“Mercedes-Benz is comely the nigh dynamical agio sword in the humans. As parting of this growth, the A-Class represents an authoritative milepost. The A-Class is wholly new, kill to the death contingent. In self-propelling growing, it’s not oftentimes you get the probability to first with a unobjectionable sheet. Our engineers let made the identical near of that chance”, explains Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairperson of the Add-in of Direction of Daimler AG and Caput of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Exterior design: The most progressive design in the compact class
Standing as practically as 18 centimetres depress on the route than the past exemplar, the new A-Class communicates invention and heartiness at the really outset glimpse. This group configuration lyric, presented and sky-high acclaimed about the humankind with the A-Class Concept, was systematically enforced in the serial product car. The appearing of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class reflects this new Mercedes-Benz innovation scheme. The answer is what is known as a two-box figure with a trenchant fibre of its own, a sportily affective outside and an exceptionally high-quality smell to the home.
2013 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
“Translating the new active elan of Mercedes-Benz into the covenant form was a gainsay that was big fun to harness”, explains Gorden Wagener, Caput of Figure at Mercedes-Benz. “No early car therein section is as reform-minded as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Dead distinctive for Mercedes is the sculpturesque configuration of the A-Class. The fiber lines, particularly on its sides, bestow the Mercedes-Benz A-Class construction and terseness. The new active stylus is detectable at kickoff glint in the upcountry besides.”
Outlined edges and tautly careworn surfaces scar out the outside figure of the new A-Class. The unremitting interplay betwixt concave and bulging surfaces creates a feature turn of spark, especially on the sides of the car, which contributes to its singular show.
Distinctive features of the yearn, flashy battlefront are its marked V-shape, the reprint headlamps, the grille with key Mercedes ace and two-bagger slats to either english of the champion, besides as the extra air intakes on the sides. The “falling job” seeming in the english visibility dissipates towards the fomite’s front. The figure of the headlamps, conjointly the shape of the twinkle functions inside them, are a key factor of the designing conception.
The ignitor modules and LEDs buns the headlight masking crank bear been ordered in such a way as to produce the feature “flame consequence” for the day impulsive lights and indicators. The alleged “flair” is made up of the characteristic occupation inside the headlight, the LED modules for the daylight operative lamps and the medulla sets for the indicators. This touch consequence gives the car its gumptious expression then helps to delimit a new, vernal aspect for Mercedes.
The perfective interplay of active designing and first-class aeromechanics is nowhere more evident than in the cap, with its quiet surfaces and tight, arcing sheer. The silhouette reveals shine, sleek lines finish in a matte boundary. The cap pamperer, which handily hides all the aerials, provides an redundant jazzy touching and gives construction to the cap gathering. The beltline rises to the behind to mannikin a marked wedge-shape. The slope panorama is imposing by sensuously moulded sculpturesque face panels and scrunch lines. The movement morphologic bound, supra the extension, waterfall in what is known as a “falling pipeline” in a appease arc towards the back. The powerfully-shaped berm muscles supra the bottom axle answer to accent the car’s takeoveré-like fiber. A advance contrast sweeps up from scarce ahead of the ass rack implike, so mildly fades by. All these lines pay astuteness and pizzazz to the car’s visibility. Active slope sill panels ply a last copestone towards the ass of the car, enhancing the show of refined light-footedness.
The large-minded stress of the behind is revealed in an interplay of convex-concave surfaces and edges. The empennage lights cover the demarcation of the hefty shoulders cover towards the ass, piece their horizontal predilection emphasises the car’s herculean width. The sparkle functions are provided optionally by fibreoptic cables and LED modules. Hither, too, the interaction betwixt designing and aeromechanics is rattling crystalise: the aerofoil finishing of the backside lights is not but an interesting pattern lineament, but too improves the airflow about the fomite thanks to outlined airflow break-away edges in the back subdivision.
Interior design: Extraordinary perceived value
The start head for the internal designing was the inner carving “Mercedes-Benz Esthetics No. 2” presented at the Detroit Drive Display in 2011 and which directed care to the new Mercedes-Benz figure speech in the fomite inner, too. The get-go concrete effectuation of this was shown in April 2011 with the A-Class Construct.
“The aspiration from aircraft invention is continued in the A-Class”, explains intriguer Jan Kaul. “The board is intelligibly dual-lane into an speed portion elysian on a extension visibility and a hefty glower division. This creates the notion that the speed incision is supported by a heftiness.”
The summons exploited for the product of this musculus allows various flabby open textures. It is thence potential to make dissimilar coat appearances with an attractive gambol of lights thanks to 3-dimensional structures embedded in hydrofoil.
“The national of the A-Class represents a big stair onwards in damage of timbre – both in the materials exploited and in the body of the innovation” says Kaul. Both objectives bear been achieved with the assist of a particular conception accent and done the respective compounding options potential with the high-quality materials selected. All passementerie elements sustain been granted an electroplated cultivation, resulting in existent metallic surfaces with “assuredness touching” force. The employment has been executed with considerable attention and attending to point, so that they look to birth been moulded in one opus.
The board incorporates fivesome bout vents. “Care glorious jewels they underline the victor caliber of the fomite national”, explains Kaul. The outer rings of the rung vents deliver a high-quality electroplated cultivation. The airflow centering is governed by an introduce that is evocative of an aircraft turbine and reveals a punctilious attending to item. This too has an electroplated finishing in silver-chrome. The free-standing show blind features a inkiness piano-lacquer-look movement impanel and a flush-fitting fluent underframe.
The pawn clustering comprises two heavy turn instruments, apiece with a diminished dial set inside it. When gone, the dial needles bandstand at 6 o’time. The arrow inlays are in gabardine, although with the sportier figure and equipment lines such as Urban and AMG Mutant they are in red. The dials on the gaudy equipment lines and packages are bleached smooth-spoken with a checked droop force. The 3-spoke wheel comes with 12 role buttons and an electroplated bezel.
The inwardness attic and soothe, too as the position of the assorted elements such as the caput whole, depress panel, air conditioning operational whole, stowing compartments, orbitual pushbutton and armrest, excogitate the findings of the biotechnology experts at Mercedes-Benz.
An all-embracing compass of bum coverings, in damage of stuff (e.g. leather, textile, ARTICO/framework), coloration combining and besides geometry, provides ambit for a large-minded ambit of individualization options. Sports seating with incorporated header restraints are useable with all optional innovation and equipment lines. The flashy nature of the seating is emphatic by the initiative betwixt the amphetamine abut of the bottom back and the headrest. On the rear of the forepart seating this orifice is stinging with a frame ag chromium-plate and, in conjunctive with the Twinkle and Batch parcel, can likewise sport ambient firing.
Intriguer Jan Kaul sums up: “If you were to yield a buns in the A-Class with your eyes shut – you would ne’er guess, upon orifice your eyes, that you were seance in a compact-class fomite.”
The chassis and suspension: Agility and refined sportiness
Tasteful sportiness substance uttermost nimbleness combined with the feel of rubber, undecomposed drive stableness and gamey levels of drive consolation which are all distinctive of the make. The reprieve of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class has a four-link back axle, electromechanical powerfulness guidance with assist functions and ESP® with “Drawn-out Grip Ascendence” (XTC). During maturation, the dangling experts made intensifier use of simulations and the impulsive simulators at the Mercedes growing essence in Sindelfingen as role of the alleged digital rally and manipulation quiz.
The preconditions for achieving active treatment are first-class in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. This is because compared with its precursor the inwardness of solemnity (24 mm depress) and seats billet (174 mm frown) has been rock-bottom importantly. A new sport is the four-link arse axle: forces are wrapped by trey ascendance blazon and one tracking arm per roll. This way that longitudinal and sidelong kinetics are nigh autonomous of one another. Cycle carriers and bound links are made of aluminum to dilute the unsprung multitude. The end was to accomplish mellow sidelong nimbleness with gamy drive stableness thanks to modest skid lean on the backside axle.
Trey frame and respite set-ups are uncommitted: the quilt abeyance and optional sports abeyance for sporting yet well-off treatment (in conjunctive with the Dynamical Treatment software or the AMG Play equipment cable). In increase, the A 250 Mutation has a jazzy, “engineered by AMG” high-performance abeyance. Entirely this results in low active peal demeanour and low send-off tar weight. Moreover, the fomite too has a rock-bottom leaning to understeer in the higher sidelong speedup stove: the driver is hence capable to mastery changes in focus with low guidance stimulant but gamey steerage preciseness. When accelerating out of aeroembolism interpreted at upper, the disposition to understeer is rock-bottom tied foster by “Protracted Grip Restraint” (XTC): with this part, ESP®provides reenforcement in the cast of guiding stableness by generating a yaw bit on the presence and ass wheels set on the indoors of the curve.
Steering: mechanical with electric assistance
The electromechanical guidance of the A-Class has been redesigned. The galvanizing centrifugal of the servosystem assist organisation is now placed straight on the guidance train as a threefold quill EPS scheme. The direction organization makes an significant share to the fomite’s boilersuit efficiency, as the direction help routine lone requires muscularity when steerage really takes position. A Direct-Steer organization is usable in compounding with the Active Manipulation bundle or AMG Fun equipment business. This provides a perceptibly more engineer guidance proportion complete the turn lean thanks to the varying proportion, and enhances the fomite’s treatment and legerity well. The guidance conveys a eminent feel of condom, as the driver experiences a uniform and exact answer to all direction movements.
The wattage guidance likewise enables diverse direction assist functions which are excited by the ESP® mastery whole. These admit
With all locomotive variants, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class comes with platter brakes on all wheels. The callipers on the arse axle and the bracken boosters are made of al. A peculiarly commodious have is the Grip office, which is intimate from the bigger manakin serial: when fillet, e.g. at dealings lights, the driver just has to pressing the bracken bicycle slimly more firm and the bracken leave rest meshed until he moves off again. The bracken is released mechanically when the driver stairs on the catalyst. On versions with manual transmittance, the Mound Clench procedure mechanically prevents the fomite from roll dorsum accidentally when start on a incline.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is weaponed with an galvanizing emergency, which operates by substance of actuator motors performing on the callipers of the arse axle. The emergency is excited via a push below the spark alternate on the left-hand of the fascia. This creates extra quad in the heart comfort, as the handbrake jimmy is no thirster mandatory. When the clitoris is pressed at speeds of o’er iv km/h, the emergency acts as an emergency, activation all four-spot rack brakes via the ESP®’s hydraulic whole.
In concurrence with the 7G-DCT machinelike contagion, the emergency offers a specially commodious modality of operation: when the driver accelerates sufficiently afterwards holdfast their seatbelt, the emergency is released mechanically.
Aerodynamics: Saving fuel the aerodynamic way
With a draw coefficient (Cd) appraise of 0.27, the sleek experts at Mercedes-Benz succeeded in creating another chef-d’oeuvre with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. And the A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY Version due to accompany posterior is tied capable to outgo this immortalize for hatchback vehicles: thanks to a numeral of sleek enhancements, this lighthouse of efficiency achieves a Cd valuate of 0.26.
Infinite menses model studies on the estimator and lots of ok tuning in the fart burrow resulted in a elucidate end: to raise the introductory conformation of the A-Class designing foster, with a aspect to achieving an olympian dredge coefficient. This is no sluttish tax, especially for a hatchback manakin with a brusque behind beetle. But an betterment in the Cd evaluate of equitable one one-hundredth leave tighten fire ingestion by one 10th of a liter per 100 km when impulsive on the expressway at approx. 120 km/h. Based on NEDC figures, this corresponds to a CO2 step-down of one gramme per klick.
With a Cd evaluate of 0.27 and a frontage country of 2.20 m2, the cart are (CdA) is less than 0.6 m2 – a benchmark anatomy for hatchback vehicles therein section.
The elaborated ferment ass this growth is highlighted by the undermentioned examples:
The exterior mirrors and the low stepped height of the A-pillars reflect the fact that the work conducted in the wind tunnel was not just about optimising the flow conditions, but also about minimising wind noise. And in addition to aerodynamics and aeroacoustics, there is often another discipline to consider: in terms of water management too, the flow around the exterior mirrors and the A-pillars also has to be optimised in the wind tunnel in order to guarantee good visibility is maintained towards the rear and at the sides during wet weather.
More than with previous model series, in the case of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class the aerodynamics experts at Mercedes-Benz made particular use of flow simulation (CFD, Computational Fluid Dynamics): each component was first improved over several cycles using flow simulation before having its aerodynamic properties put to the test in the wind tunnel.
Digital flow simulation is based on so-called finite volumes as a mathematical model. A volume net is formed from around 60 million hexahedrons, or cubes, and is based around the CAD data of the new A-Class. This enables the driving cycle to be simulated over a free area in a large virtual wind tunnel. The Mercedes engineers generate the airflow using a predetermined turbulence level.
Setting new standards in terms of Cd value and consumption: BlueEFFICIENCY Edition
Due to follow later is the A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Edition boasting even better consumption levels. It is among the most efficient vehicles of its class: thanks to a series of additional aerodynamic optimisation measures, it has been possible to reduce its Cd value from 0.27 (standard model) to 0.26.
These measures include:
Diesel engines: three efficient power bands
The new basic engine in the OM 607 series develops 80 kW (109 hp), delivers 260 Nm to the crankshaft and with a manual transmission consumes 3.8 litres per 100 km, corresponding to 98 g of CO2/km. This is a 22-percent improvement over the only 60 kW (82 hp) preceding model, the A 160 CDI, which consumed 4.9 litres. The new top diesel, the A 220 CDI, is no less than 25 percent better than its predecessor: it develops an output of 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 Nm of torque, and in combination with the 7G-DCT automatic dual clutch transmission it consumes only 4.3 litres/100 km (provisional figure). The figures for the preceding A 200 CDI were 103 kW(140 hp), 5.7 litres, and 149 g of CO2/km.
Petrol engines: turbocharging and direct injection for all
A comparison between the new and previous A 200 demonstrates what has been achieved with the petrol engines: with 115 kW(156 hp) and 250 Nm of torque, the new engine delivers superior performance but consumes only 5.4 litres/100 km (127g CO2/km – figures for the 7G-DCT), which is 26 percent less than its predecessor (100 kW, 185 Nm, 7.4 l/100 km, 174 g CO2/km). Even the new top model with the 7G-DCT and producing 155 kW(211 hp) and 350 Nm is considerably more efficient with a consumption of 6.1 litres and CO2 emissions of 143 g.
The completely new engines and transmissions are not the only decisive factors in this exemplary efficiency. Thanks to the modular system it has been possible to select the optimally designed transmission for each diesel and petrol engine. The overall package is rounded off perfectly with progressive aerodynamics with a Cd figure of only 0.27, as well as a number of other improvements.
“The new four-cylinder models from Mercedes-Benz occupy a leading position by virtue of their performance, high efficiency and very low emissions. They impress with their smooth, superior power delivery and offer customers refinement at the highest level,” says Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
The 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission: Dynamic and efficient
Drawing on over 50 years of experience in the development and production of automatic transmissions, Mercedes-Benz ventured into new technical territory with the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission: the new system is an automated three-shaft manual transmission consisting of two subtransmissions, each with its own clutch. Both actuation of the clutches and gear shifting take place fully automatically and without any interruption in tractive power. This allows a particularly comfortable but nevertheless dynamic mode of driving.
Thanks to its seven gears it offers an exceptionally large spread of up to 7.99. This means that a very short transmission ratio is available when moving off on an uphill slope with a high payload, for example, while during cruising the engine speed can be lowered considerably. The efficiency of this transmission leads to a nine percent improvement in fuel consumption compared to the CVT employed in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class to date, and betters the consumption with a manual transmission.
At a length of 367 millimetres and a weight of 86 kilograms, the 7G-DCT is more compact and lighter than the transmissions in this torque class which have been available on the market to date. The clutches take the form of oil-cooled multi-disc clutches. The specially developed hydraulic fluid is actively cooled, thus ensuring correct functioning of the transmission even under extreme conditions, despite the comparatively low filling level of six litres. Excess engine heat can also be transferred to the transmission, which improves its efficiency.
For the first time on this type of unit, the transmission is supplied with oil by two oil pumps – one mechanical and one electric. The electric pump maintains the oil pressure when the engine is switched off via the start/stop function. This means that the transmission is immediately operational when the engine is restarted and the vehicle can move off again without any delay. In addition, the electric pump is able to support the mechanical pump when peak loads apply, enabling a more compact and efficient design for the mechanical pump.
Another new feature is electric activation of the hydraulics for the parking lock, which is locked by mechanical means. This “park by wire” function enables the transmission selector lever to be positioned as desired: it is located in the form of a steering column lever on the right behind the steering wheel in the A-Class. In combination with the electric parking brake, additional space has thus been created in the centre console for additional stowage facilities.
Three gearshift modes are available to the driver:
In ECO or Sport mode, the driver is still able to intervene manually in the gear-shifting process via the shift paddles. The transmission reverts to the selected automatic mode after the paddles have remained inactive for twelve seconds, or after a longer delay when driving downhill or on winding roads.
A key factor contributing to the overall efficiency and dynamism of the A-Class is the closely coordinated operation of the transmissions and engines. A continuous exchange of data between the control units ensures that the engines run at the ideal operating point at all times. The 7G ‑DCT transmission is manufactured at Daimler’s Stuttgart-Hedelfingen plant.
The six-speed manual transmission: Comfortable manual gearshifts
The new six-speed manual transmission was developed in parallel with 7G-DCT. It is extremely compact and shares a number of common parts.
The three-shaft transmission is also very compact (length 345 mm) and light (dry weight 46 kg) and incorporates a number of special features for particularly pleasant gearshifting. An integrated magnet on the gearshift shaft is detected by a Hall sensor. The idle position is identified in this way, making the start/stop function possible. The signal for reverse gear activates the reversing lights.
The large spread of 6.7 allows a reduction in engine speed while at the same time ensuring that sufficient tractive power is available when moving off with a fully laden Mercedes-Benz A-Class and trailer up to a gross weight of 3.4 tonnes. The clutch is operated hydraulically and the gears are actuated via cables.
The overhead camshaft with third and fourth gears and the reverse gear do not run in the oil bath. This reduces drag torque, thus facilitating gear shifting at low temperatures in particular. The three-cone synchronisation of the first two gears serves the same purpose, while the following gears are provided with two-cone synchronisation. The weight-optimised cast aluminium shift forks are installed on anti-friction bearings on the shift rods, in order to reduce the shift forces.
Passive safety: A strong basis and intelligent protection
“One star is all you need” – the Mercedes-Benz safety philosophy also applies to the new A-Class. Its safety equipment, some features of which are traditionally found in much higher vehicle categories, includes belt tensioners and belt force limiters for the rear seats, too, the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system and the active bonnet for pedestrian protection. The line-up also includes seven airbags as standard and the Mercedes automatic emergency call system.
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class has passed the brand’s rigorous programme of crash tests. This includes not only some 30 different impact configurations, which are laid down as requirements for safety ratings and international type approval, but also nine proprietary crash tests, such as the roof-drop test or the pole impact test, developed by the brand itself.
The ability of the new A-Class to satisfy requirements which go far beyond the statutory conditions in some cases is also demonstrated by an internal offset front collision test against a future luxury-segment saloon from Mercedes-Benz: despite the high impact speed and the fact that it is the smaller accident participant, the A-Class offers its occupants an intact passenger compartment and excellent chances of survival.
The bodyshell structure provides the basis for the high standard of passive safety, both in terms of material – the proportion of high-strength and ultra-high-strength sheet steel stands at 67 percent – and with regard to its structural design. Key features of the front-end structure are the systematic implementation of an available crash length of 435 millimetres, load distribution over several planes, the new bulkhead and floor concept and the subframe as a deformation element.
A total of three longitudinal member planes – consisting of the straight front longitudinal members, a second, upper plane attached to the front end consisting of extruded aluminium box sections and a third plane at the bottom in front of the subframe – allow impact energy to be reduced in a controlled manner.
The subframe provides the torque support for the transverse engine / transmission block and serves to attach the components for the front axle and steering. It consists of several steel plates, some in ultra-high-strength steel, and a hydroformed tube. In order to optimise its deformation properties, the subframe is connected via two aluminium struts leading forward to the aluminium radiator mount located under the front end. In the event of a frontal impact, forces can be discharged at an early juncture into the subframe via this third load path, in order to ensure the best possible energy dissipation.
A plastic crash wedge which is fitted at the rear of the front wheel arches helps to ensure that the wheels do not slide under the front doors in the event of a high-impact crash, irrespective of the turning angles. This means that it will be possible to open the doors, even after a serious accident.
The bulkhead also incorporates a special feature: so-called “skate runners” in front of the two middle longitudinal members discharge forces into the floor. The continuous floor structure consists of a total of four straight longitudinal members. The tunnel roof reinforcements at front and rear combine with the tunnel to provide a further closed profile supporting the front end.
Controlled deformation: protection in side-on crashes
Rigid side structures and defined deformation management help to safeguard the survival space for occupants in the event of a side impact. Elements here include the so-called “pole support”, a member fitted diagonally in the rear footwell between centre tunnel and floor side wall which is intended to prevent the floor from being torn open in the event of side impact with a tree.
High-strength steels are used in the upper area of the B-pillar in order to minimise intrusion and to preserve the passenger cell in case of side impact. The lower area of the B-pillar is softer, in the interests of energy dissipation. The safety experts at Mercedes-Benz have christened the crack management system on the insides of the B-pillar “vampire teeth”. In a serious side-on crash, the seat belt retractor presses against the inner wall of the B-pillar. To prevent this from leading to a transverse crack which might affect structural integrity, small, tooth-like recesses define the crack direction.
Pedestrian protection: comprehensive measures including Active Bonnet
The protection of those road users who are most at risk has always been a top priority during the development of Mercedes passenger cars. The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class features numerous protective measures designed to help lessen the risk of injury to pedestrians. In order to reduce the loads which arise in the event of a pedestrian impact on the bonnet of the vehicle, the deformation space between the bonnet and the components beneath it has been optimised. This is achieved in part through the appropriate positioning of components such as control units or fluid reservoirs in the engine compartment.
In the case of the A-Class, with its sporty, low-slung body, an active bonnet is also used. In the event of a pedestrian impact, sophisticated sensors combined with intelligent algorithms trigger actuators in the area of the bonnet hinges. These raise the bonnet by 65 millimetres. The additional space which this creates between the bonnet and the components in the engine compartment means that a head is subject to comparatively low internal acceleration forces on impact.
The deformation characteristics of the bonnet have been developed specifically to meet these requirements. Reductions in the impact loads can be achieved by using aluminium and reinforcing the inside face of the bonnet.
On all seats: intelligent restraint systems
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class protects its passengers with up to nine airbags. The standard complement comprises driver and front-passenger airbag, a kneebag for the driver, large thorax-pelvisbags incorporated in the seat to protect the chest, stomach and pelvis area and windowbags. The windowbags extend over both rows of seats to the A-pillar triangle. They serve to protect the occupants’ heads from hard contact in the event of side impact and can also help to keep limbs inside the vehicle in an accident. The driver and front passenger airbags operate in two stages, according to the expected severity of the impact. The gas generator first of all fills the driver’s airbag with 60 and the front passenger’s airbag with 70 per cent gas. If a more severe impact is forecast, the second stage of the gas generator will additionally be activated after a delay and the airbags will be filled at a higher pressure level. Sidebags for the rear are optionally available.
The high safety expertise of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class’s developers is reflected in a host of details. The deformable steering column yields by up to 100 millimetres when the driver exerts pressure on the airbag as a result of forward displacement in an accident, for example. The comfort features also reveal a fine touch: the driver’s airbag is connected to a vibration absorber in the steering wheel to reduce vibrations, for example.
The head restraints for driver and front passenger are new developments. The onus in developing the new restraints was on further reducing the risk of whiplash injury. Key to effective whiplash prevention is the best possible adjustment of the distance from the rear of the occupants’ heads. The restraint incorporates a button for this purpose on the left-hand side (as seen in the direction of travel). This release mechanism can be pressed to unlock the head restraint and increase the distance between head and head restraint. The button does not need to be pressed in order to reduce the distance. This enables single-handed operation in all adjustment positions.
Family-friendly: comprehensive precautionary measures in the rear
In developing the new A-Class, the Mercedes-Benz safety experts have also attached great importance to the safety of the rear-seat occupants. The new model therefore meets the relevant requirements of the Japanese and Chinese NCAP institutes which also take account of factors such as the ease of use of the rear seat belts. Experts believe that Euro NCAP will extend its rating programme to include rear-seat safety in the medium term. The A-Class is already prepared for this and is a role model in this respect – both within and beyond its own vehicle category – with features such as standard-fit belt tensioners and belt force limiters for the outer rear seats. A torsion bar in the roller mechanism twists when the load on it exceeds a defined level. In this way the belt force is limited and with it the load on the seat occupant.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class’s family-friendly features also include the ISOFIX child seat securing system on the outer seats. Child seats can additionally be fixed to the vehicle by means of special anchorage points with top tethers.
Innovation in the compact class: anticipatory occupant protection system
The PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system is available in the A-Class for the first time. This represents a further step in the on-going democratisation of this innovation, which was premiered in the S-Class in 2002.
PRE-SAFE® from Mercedes-Benz uses the time between detection of a potential accident situation and a possible collision to initiate preventive protection measures, thus reducing the loads exerted on the occupants in the event of a crash by up to 40 percent.
Core features of PRE-SAFE® are reversible belt tensioning, the closing of side windows and sliding sunroof when critical lateral dynamics are detected and adjustment of the fully electric front passenger seat with memory function to an ideal position for maximum effectiveness of the restraint systems.
PRE-SAFE® is activated when one of the following parameters is met: emergency braking, panic braking, pronounced over- or understeering, critical steering movements or heavy support by adaptive Brake Assist.
Mercedes-Benz automatic emergency call system: faster assistance at the scene of an accident
In combination with COMAND Online, the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is equipped with the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system. As long as COMAND Online is connected to a mobile phone, the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system can automatically alert the emergency services within a matter of minutes in the event of a serious accident.
After the airbags or belt tensioners are triggered, the vehicle’s exact GPS position and vehicle identification number (VIN) are sent by SMS to a special emergency centre, with positional data also being transmitted using the DTMF method (dual-tone multi-frequency) at the same time. Even if the occupants are unconscious or unsure of exactly where they are because they are on a holiday trip, for example, the emergency services alerted by the emergency centre will be notified quickly with accurate information. The driver can also make the emergency call manually as “MB emergency call” is always the first entry in the system phone directory.
On receiving the call, the emergency centre establishes voice contact with the vehicle occupants in a matter of seconds. A particularly practical aspect in an emergency is that the communication is held not in the language of the country where the accident has occurred but in the language which the driver has preset in COMAND Online.
Other than any mobile phone communication charges, which would only arise in the event of an actual emergency call, no charges are incurred by the driver for the emergency call facility and no contractual relationship – other than the regular mobile phone contract – is required.