Thu, 10 Mar 2005

Mercedes-Benz introduces compact B-Class vehicle

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

German carmaker Mercedes-Benz has recently introduced its new compact hatchback Mercedes B-Class with the company calling it a Compact Sports Tourer. The B-Class is the second compact produced by the company after the A-Class.

The B-Class has its first world premier at the ongoing Geneva Motor Show which will end this Sunday.

The company says it is aiming to be trendsetter among carmakers and be preparing the way for a younger market segment.

It also said the Compact Sports Tourer offers motorists generous space, exemplary comfort, excellent practicality, an exciting design and a high-level of driving pleasure.

One of the major advantages of the Compact Sports Tourer is the sandwich concept developed by Mercedes-Benz that is also used in the A-Class.

Thanks to the space-saving arrangement of the engine and transmission partly in front of and partly beneath the passenger cell, the new B-Class offers the interior spaciousness of larger saloons and estate cars despite its compact external dimensions.

The body has a length of 4270 millimeters, corresponding to the compact car class. Inside, however, the new Mercedes model offers more than other cars of comparable size, including more shoulder, leg and head room.

There are six four-cylinder engine options, including gasoline and diesel, with power ranging from 95 to 193 horsepower.

For the gasoline engines, the top of the line is the B-200 Turbo, equipped with turbocharging and intercooling producing a maximum torque of 280 Newton meters (Nm) at 1,800 revolution per minute (rpm).

Achieving a maximum speed of 225 kilometer an hour (kph), it accelerates from a standstill to 100 kph in 7.6 seconds.

As for diesel engine, the most powerful variant is B-200 CDI with 140 hp of maximum power and 300 Nm of top torque.

Equipped with common-rail direct injection, B-200 CDI can reach a top speed of 200 kph and accelerates from stationary to 100 kph in 9.6 seconds.

The CDI variants in the B-Class meet the stringent EU 4 exhaust emission limits even without a particulate filter, though Mercedes-Benz offers a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter system on request.

The model uses six-speed transmission as standard while the newly developed continuously variable autotronic automatic transmission is optionally available.

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class will likely be a stiff challenge to new German compact -- the BMW Series 1, first introduced to the world in September and recently launched here in Indonesia.