Sunday, 17 June 2007

2008 Mercedes A-Class Facelift & 2011 Mercedes A & B-Class?

The current Mercedes A-Class has been on the market since 2005 but German car magazine, Autobild said a facelift model could be planned for 2008 with a smiley face. The next model should arrive onto the European market by 2011 or 2012 this time round the A-Class will be less MPV like and more coupe like as it will rival with the upcoming Audi A1. Both 3 door and 5 door are likely. The magazine also reported a diesel-hybrid co-developed with Citroen & Peugeot PSA or Honda. This should give the upcoming A-Class excellent fuel economy and ultra low emissions.

Sources say the next A-Class could underpin the next Dodge Caliber. Despite the B-Class being based on a extended platform of the A-Class this could also be based on the next Cailber. Mercedes is currently test mules now but they are related to Chrysler.

The following things are considered by DamilerChrysler:

This project may be cancelled because Chrysler's technique is not highly sophisticated enough for Mercedes and developed with a low budget- At a volume of 600,000 cars per year (current: lower than 300,000), a 3 and 5-door A-class, a 5-door B-class and a B-class Sportcoupé (replacing the C-class Sportcoupé) is being considered.

Mercedes and Chrysler have quite different ideas about the engines to be built in, which is one reason Mercedes is looking for a different Partner.

There are three possible partners: PSA, Honda and VW- PSA would profit from lower costs, a higher volume, access to Mercedese's quality managment, all-wheel drive and double-clutch gear.

Honda could be interesting because of their far developed hybrid technology.

A partnership with VW could be difficult since Porsche took over a big part of VW.

A second facelift (model year 2012) is possible to gain more time until a suitable partner has been found.

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