Mercedes Plans Line of Small Luxury Vehicles to Compete with BMW’s Mini Brand

By Paul Riegler on 14 April 2013
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Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class at a preview in Detroit

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class at a preview in Detroit

Mercedes-Benz is planning to launch a new line of smaller luxury vehicles, including an SUV, a four-meter van, and a two-door hatchback, in an attempt to compete with BMW’s Mini brand.  The report first appeared in Focus magazine on Sunday.

Given the popularity of diesels in Europe, it is almost a certainty that several diesel engines will be available with the new vehicles.

The new vehicles would carry the Mercedes star and brand and would be based on the compact A-Class (not sold in the U.S.) with a length of 156 inches (four meters) but noticeably shorter.  Mercedes hopes to sell the vehicles for between than €17,000 to €20,000 ($22,234 to $26,158 based on today’s exchange rate).

The first new vehicle, according to Focus, would appear in the lineup  in two years in the form of a small SUV that would be smaller than the new GLA, slated to be unveiled at the Shanghai auto show this month.  The new four-meter van would fall under the B-Class, and the three-door model, intended to be a direct competitor to Mini, would make its debut in 2016.  All three vehicles would be positioned above Mercedes’ Smart inner-city car.

Earlier this year, Mercedes unveiled the CLA-Class.  The CLA is a baby CLS, with its dimensions (such as its 182.3” length) dictated by the Mercedes A-Class.  Mercedes is aiming for a younger, more connected market and is equipping the CLA with features such as Internet radio and mbrace2 telematics.  Its sharply creased design gives it the lowest drag coefficient, 0.23, of any production car sold in the United States and non-U.S. specific models will have a drag coefficient as low as 0.22

Mercedes-Benz was not available for comment at the time of publication.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)