Compact cars seem to be taking the automotive market by storm and with BMW finally bringing the 1-Series over to the United States, even luxury auto makers are catering to the booming segment. While the small BMW 1-Series and the Audi A3 will start competing on our highways sooner than later, Mercedes-Benz doesn’t want to get left behind in the compact car race.
According to AutoZeitung, Mercedes-Benz is now working on a radical revamping of the A-Class to compete with the 1-Series and A3 by 2011.
The story started surfacing when AutoZeitung reported in early May that the underpinnings of the A-Class (a compact minivan station wagon thingy), could spawn a sporty small roadster in 2011 based on the Mercedes-Benz Vision SLA Concept which was inspired by the A-Class as well.
Adding our two cents, we think that the small roadster may be a BMW 1-Series convertible competitor, which has been recently spotted by spies. The Mercedes-Benz Vision SLA Concept used the same high-torque 1.9-liter engine of the A 190 which produces 125 hp. Front and rear axle of the roadster study were also derived from the A-Class.
While we have no official word from Mercedes-Benz as of yet, the new report from AutoZeitung states that the revamped rear-wheel drive A-Class will take design and technology from the new 2008 C-Class, much like the relationship of the BMW 1-Series and 3-Series. The car is also expected to have engine sizes similar to the BMW 1-Series with 1.4 and 1.6 liter possibilities.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is also expected to make its US debut in 2011. Together, the new 2008 C-Class, B-Class and the revamped A-Class, are expected to account for 50% of Mercedes passenger car sales in the United States post 2011.
[tags]Cars, Car, Auto, Automobile, Vehicles, Technology, Auto News, News, Mercedes, BMW, Audi[/tags]