Home2011 New York Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2011 New York Auto Show in New York City.
Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class
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What is it? The A-Class has been a mainstay as Mercedes’s entry-level car in Europe. The original is a five-door hatchback, but now Mercedes is taking the car mainstream for the next generation. The new three-door hatch is designed to compete with sportier luxury compacts such as the Mini Cooper with a three-door hatchback body style and a coupe-like lower roofline. Mercedes says the new car will have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with direct injection good for 210 hp, along with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The interior has a panoramic glass roof and minimal controls. The fabric-covered dashboard is designed to look like an aircraft wing and incorporates a 7-inch screen and a docking station for a cell-phone. When docked, the cellphone’s screen, including apps appears on the car’s screen, allowing occupants to stream Internet radio, for example.

What’s new or notable? Mercedes says this will be the first premium small car to include a collision warning and mitigation that can detect an impending accident and apply the brakes to avoid it or to mitigate damage. If the new 2012 C-Class is any indication the system could be included as standard equipment.

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