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The design: Perfect space in a most attractive guise

Oct 3, 2011
  • Exterior: sporty interpretation of the current design line
  • Interior: a new dimension of quality in the compact class
The new B-Class is a typical Mercedes sports tourer, offering plenty of space combined with impressive dynamic performance as a hatchback saloon. The characteristic lines of the exterior design indicate both of these attributes: front and rear sport a width-emphasizing design. The front features a wide, prominent grille. The air intake under the grille widens trapezoidally towards the outside, featuring round LED daytime driving lights, while the darkened halogen headlamps with reflector technology extend from the radiator grille to the sides.
The appearance at the rear is shaped by the wide rear window, the two-piece tail lights with horizontally offset meander and the wide tailgate extending far down for a low loading sill, with chromed handle strip and LED licence plate illumination (optional extra). The two-piece tail lights extending from the tailgate to the sides break down into three horizontal bars – red-clear-red. The light package results in a distinctive, sporty lighting scenario with tail lights featuring LED fibre optic technology. A powerful rear bumper in body colour with black grained lower part in diffuser look adorns the bottom of the rear end.
The Bi-xenon option with Intelligent Light System includes a particularly striking feature of the front view in the form of the so-called spotlight over the headlamps. The LED element provides a distinctive feature at night-time while also serving as a turn signal indicator. A horizontal LED daytime driving light is positioned in the bumper. Additional sealing is provided between the headlamps and the body, for improved aerodynamics.
The new sportiness and the outstanding aerodynamics are particularly evident in the side line: the bonnet flows seamlessly into the A-pillar and the roof line descends sleekly to the striking roof spoiler. The roof features a swage line which lends the vehicle a longer appearance. The side windows have no visible door frames, underscoring the stylish, sporty character of the new B-Class. The pronounced wheel arches offset by dynamic feature lines under the beltline are a sporty interpretation of the current design line from Mercedes-Benz.
The bottom edge of the body features dynamic side skirts which add a light touch to the vehicle's appearance. Refined details such as the exquisitely designed headlamps with the new spotlight element confirm the brand's unmistakable premium credentials which shine through in the compact segment, too.
The interior: emotional design with sporty attributes
High-quality materials and finely structured surfaces, stylish details, precision workmanship and a new spaciousness – the interior of the B-Class defines a whole new benchmark in the compact segment. In the interior, the large, three-dimensional trim covering the entire dashboard first strikes the eye. The three large round vents in the middle and their uniquely designed cruciform nozzles add a sporty attribute to the interior's emotional design idiom.
The display, which is available in two sizes with a diagonal or 147 or 178 millimetres, appears to hover over the vents. With its stylish design – the trim frame with galvanised finish contrasting with the piano black of the front panel – and slender lines, the colour display (TFT) is a highly attractive showpiece in the cockpit. The menus on the display are operated by means of rotary pushbuttons in the centre console. The "hovering" screen concept also serves two additional effects: the screen blends more harmoniously into its surroundings while at the same time conjuring up an impression of greater space in the centre of the instrument panel.
The 3-spoke steering wheel, which always features a matt chrome insert in
the middle spoke, the instrument cluster with four analogue round dials and suspended pointers in 6 o'clock position and the seats with contrasting stitching underscore the sporty character.
The instrument panel features a matt, soiling-resistant surface with a pleasant, quality feel. The large trim situated centrally in the driver's and front passenger's field of vision is available in four variants covering a broad spectrum from modern through sporty to classic. Common to all versions is a high-class appeal combining an attractive look and feel with easy care and durability.
Instead of a high-gloss black finish, the trim on the basic model features the fine "Matrix" pattern on a piano lacquer-like background, for example. The trim is produced by means of the IMD technology (In-Mould Decoration), which involves spraying thermoplastic onto the backs of printed films in the mould. This results in mouldings with an excellent surface finish and quality appeal.
The trim in the Sports package is also produced by means of IMD. Here, the film is printed on both sides, creating an impression of even greater depth. On closer examination, the fascinating trim surfaces thus reveal further interesting details.
In the Exclusive package the trim is available in real matt walnut veneer.
The trim is optionally available in high-gloss black ash.
All the metallic surfaces in the interior are also genuine, thanks to electroplating. Various items, such as the outer ring on the round vents, the frame of the colour display and the upper shell of the shift lever, are finished in shimmering silk matt silver shadow. All silver surfaces possess the same lustre and the same surface quality, lending the interior a seamless appearance.
The high-quality impression is reinforced at night by the ambient lighting which is available in the Light and Sight package. A fibre-optic cable in the bottom edge of the trim diffuses gentle amber light. The scope of the ambient lighting also includes the front footwell lighting and the illuminated handle recesses on all doors.