In­side new A-class

In­te­rior of new premium hatch re­vealed S-class tech set to ap­pear

Auto Express - - Contents - Andy Pringle

Next-gen­er­a­tion Merc hatch re­veals its tech se­crets

AHEAD of the all-new Mercedes A-class tak­ing cen­tre stage at the Geneva Mo­tor Show next March, the Ger­man brand has of­fi­cially re­vealed the car’s cabin.

The im­ages show a rev­o­lu­tion in the in­te­rior de­sign of the new hatch­back, with clear in­spi­ra­tion taken from the pricier E-class and S-class mod­els. Ac­cord­ing to Mercedes, there will be more space and prac­ti­cal­ity in­side than in the out­go­ing car, and new levels of lux­ury and com­fort will be brought to the class.

Auto Ex­press was able to sit in­side the new Audi A3 ri­val at an ex­clu­sive event, where we could see that the dash­board is di­vided into up­per and lower sec­tions by a ‘trench’ spread­ing across the dash be­hind the in­fo­tain­ment screen. Three cen­tral tur­bine air vents, in­spired by the ones found in high-end Mercedes, are sub­tly an­gled to­wards the driver.

In­stead of a tra­di­tional in­stru­ment dis­play in its own hous­ing, there are two free-stand­ing flat screens, sim­i­lar to those found in the E-class and S-class. The dis­play ahead of the driver deals with the in­stru­ments and as­sis­tance sys­tems, while the screen in the middle of the dash is used for in­fo­tain­ment and nav­i­ga­tion.

The screens come in three com­bi­na­tions de­pend­ing on the trim level: lower-spec cars re­ceive two seven-inch dis­plays, mid­spec mod­els use one seven-inch and one 10.25-inch screen and top-spec mod­els get two 10.25-inch dis­plays. Each one has an anti-re­flec­tive coat­ing and au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justs its bright­ness to re­spond to chang­ing light levels in the car.

Mercedes is par­tic­u­larly proud of the am­bi­ent light­ing sys­tem, which is used through­out the cabin and even on the air vents. It puts 64 colours at the driver’s dis­posal, and th­ese are or­gan­ised into 10 ‘colour worlds’ that can be matched with the look of the widescreen dis­play.

A head-up dis­play will be avail­able as an op­tion, as will fea­tures more com­monly found on high-end cars, such as heated and ven­ti­lated mas­sag­ing seats. To heighten the lux­ury feel, the A-class also uses the same steer­ing wheel de­sign as the S-class.

Prac­ti­cal­ity is im­proved, too, with Mercedes claim­ing rear pas­sen­gers have 36mm more el­bow room and 22mm more shoul­der space. Vis­i­bil­ity has been en­hanced with thin­ner win­dow pil­lars, there’s more stor­age in the cabin, and the 370-litre boot is 29 litres big­ger than be­fore with a wider open­ing. The back seats can be re­clined, too, and an op­tional 40:20:40 fold­ing mech­a­nism can be added.

Mercedes in­tends to demon­strate the cabin tech­nol­ogy on the new A-class at the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show in Las Ve­gas in Jan­uary, be­fore the car is fi­nally re­vealed in full at Geneva in the spring.

OF­FI­CIAL CLASS ACT Up­mar­ket cabin gets tur­bine air vents, S-class steer­ing wheel and a va­ri­ety of LED light­ing con­fig­u­ra­tions


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