Full details of new Mercedes B-Class announced

Mercedes has announced the full details of its new B-Class, the second generation of its family hatchback.

The new car looks set to play host to a large selection of technology making its debut on a Mercedes, including a new petrol and diesel engine, a new manual and dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and a new collision prevention system.
It is also a larger car all around than the outgoing model, being 89mm longer, 11mm wider and 48mm lower than the car that was launched in 2005. This means that several of the interior dimensions have changed as well, with the rear legroom said to be superior to the E-Class and S-Class saloons at 976mm.

This amount of room helps the rear seats to be slid back and forward by 140mm when the optional EASY-VARIO-PLUS system is specified, increasing the boot space from a standard 488 litres to a maximum capacity of 666 litres. The front passenger seat can also be lain flat to increase through load space.

Further forward in the cabin, the centre console features a touchscreen that is available in two sizes (5.8- and 7-inches) and has the ability to connect to connect to the internet, either traditionally or through a Mercedes application that features the likes of Google weather and local search.

The technology Mercedes is debuting on the new B-Class includes two new engines, a 1.6-litre four cylinder petrol that appears in several power forms and a 1.8-litre diesel. The petrol will come in B180 and B200 forms, with 120bhp and 154bhp respectively. The diesel will be in B180 CDI and B200 CDI versions, with 108bhp and 134bhp on offer.

Both engines will send their power to the wheels via a pair of new gearboxes – a six-speed manual, and a seven-speed dual clutch automatic that is claimed to improve economy over the old CVT version by up to nine percent. Standard stop start will also help in the quest to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy.

Other technical introductions include a rear-collision mitigation system that monitors the road in front and warns the driver if a crash is imminent.

The B-Class goes on sale in April 2012. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to start in excess of £20,000.
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