Baby Benz in A-class of its own
Thursday 11 August 1994
The extraordinary A-Class not only rewrites the rules of small car design - it also symbolises a radical culture change for a company which until recently thrived on making bigger, heavier and more expensive cars than any other major manufacturer.
By moving the powertrain behind the front axle line and under the driver's feet, the
A-Class is shorter than a Rover Metro, yet has more interior space than a Ford Mondeo. Occupants sit about 10in
higher than usual, giving a clear all-round view of the road - a boon to urban motorists trapped in congested traffic.
It is also very safe. Twin platforms give a robust and sturdy structure, and allow the engine to be pushed under the passenger cell in a head-on collision, rather than deforming and crushing the cabin as in a traditional car. Driver, passenger, and side airbags ensure a cushioned impact in accidents.
Two large cargo drawers provide more baggage space than a large saloon, and those who need to haul bulky items can stored them by removing the folding rear bench.
The production A-Class will be slightly different from the car pictured above, which appeared at motor shows last year to test reaction to the
concept of a mini-Benz.
The only drawback for interested London motorists is that the A-Class will not arrive until early 1997 - but it should be worth the wait.
Life & Style blogs
GTA 5 Online DLC: San Andreas Flight School update brings 16-seater jet plane and more
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
As Kellie Maloney has experienced, when you're transgender, strangers think it's OK to ask intimate questions – it's not
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 A third of employers never check job applicants' qualifications, survey finds
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...