Officieel: de nieuwe Mercedes A-Klasse

Mercedes-Benz heeft vanavond een geheel nieuwe generatie van de A-Klasse onthuld. Conclusie na enkele blikken: er is weinig 'baby' overgebleven aan de baby-Benz.
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De nieuwe A - met interne codenaam W177 - staat op het MFA2-platform en heeft een 30mm langere wielbasis en 14mm meer spoorbreedte voor dan zijn voorganger van de derde generatie. Van binnen heeft Mercedes hard zijn best gedaan de kleine voorwielaandrijver zo premium mogelijk uit te rusten. Dat is, als je genereus bent met vinken op de optielijst. Standaard heeft de A twee 7.0" displays, met een klassiek analoog tellerwerk en een touchscreen infotainmentsysteem. Dit laatste is een primeur voor Mercedes.  Wie de full monty wil kiest de optionele dubbele 10,3" digitale schermen, de eerder aangestipte MBUX-cockpit, en de nieuwe 'Linguatronic'- stembesturing.

De styling, vooral het front, doet veel denken aan de onlangs onthulde CLS, met de scherpe lampen die ver naar achteren doorlopen. Mercedes noemt het in designtaal een 'predator face', niet geheel toevallig is 'predator' ook de bijnaam voor de later te verschijnen A45 met meer dan 405 pk.

De grootste groeispurt zit in de lengte: met 4419mm is de A-Klasse een volle 12 cm langer dan zijn  voorganger. In de breedte (1.796mm, +16 mm) en hoogte (1.440mm, +2 mm) groeide de auto marginaal. Toch is het fascinerend om te zien hoeveel er in een jaar of twintig kan veranderen: het ooit zo koddige hoge autootje dat louter voor bejaarden bestemd leek is uitgegroeid tot volwaardig premium auto in de compacte klasse.

De nieuwe A-Klasse komt er bij de marktintroductie met 3 motoren: de A200 (163 pk, 250 Nm), A250 (224 pk, 350 Nm) of A180d (116 pk, 260 Nm). Laatstgenoemde is een skeere 1.5 diesel uit het Renaultschap met 108 g/km aan CO2-uitstoot. De benzine-instapper is een samen met Renault ontwikkelde 1.3 viercilinder (1.332 cc groot, codenaam M282), terwijl de topper de enige A is die gebruik maakt van een geheel eigen Mercedes-blok: de recent ge-update M260-tweelitermotor.

De A200 is standaard aan een zesbak gekoppeld, de andere twee modellen krijgen een 7-traps DCT. Mercedes heeft weliswaar zijn bekende 9-bak voor modellen met dwarsgeplaatste motor ontwikkeld, maar om onduidelijke reden implementeren ze de transmissie pas later in de A-Klasse.

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