Mercedes A-class (W 168)
|Bore * stroke
|80 * 84 mm
|Common Rail (Diesel)
|160/180 Nm at 1500-2400/1600-3200 rpm
|44/66 kW (60/90 HP)
|1100 - 1150 kg
|Approx. 165/175/195 km/h
Also a major manufacturer is struggling to get into a whole new technology. So far there is no front-wheel drive from Mercedes. The only arises with the A-class and so are the problems. First the vehicles do not
pass the "elk test". The delivery date is delayed. Simultaneously the car do not quite reach the processing quality of the (VW) Golf class.
Then made, as in other Mercedes models at the time, the coil springs bad problems. They often break atypical and their spring seats like to tear, if still made of cast aluminum. Wheel bearings and rear axle
suspension cause problems probably due to defective sealing. In the diesel injectors this may be also the reason for odors in the interior.
Finally, all this changes nothing at the sales success of the A-class. It is not just simply a copy of the previously existing vehicles. This is already evident in the drive train. While it is clear that there is a transverse engine,
one recognizes it for the first time but not directly, which parts of the drive train lie before and which behind the front axle. Anyway, the engine is slightly moved more to the rear and tilted heavily forward.
The high seating position is felt comfortable in the complexity of the traffic. One may even assume that the success of SUVs is based on this fact and not their four-
wheel drive. For the A-
Class can be seen at the manufacturer the opportunity also to provide for alternative drives. It is realized, for example, a vehicle with fuel cell.
However, their development
takes much longer than the first series of this car. Thus, the concept of double bottom is abandoned before the car could use it in the series of alternative drives.
The production version of 1997/98 is certainly more exciting than the study from 1997. It shows that in the task, to produce on lowest possible surface a complete car, a lot of potential is for the design to pack the
resulting height at low length of slightly more than 3.5 m in a stylish form. In addition to Mercedes-quality are also offered within the brand the usual safety standards. A look at the the power train above (Fig. 3 and 4) and
you will understand how it moves wedge-shaped beneath the body, especially the passengers are sitting approx. 20 cm higher. For this it has a detachable connection to the frame and the front end is especially
strengthened. The frontal crash is still (just) the most common type of accident. Large airbags and belt tensioners as in the A-class are also unusual in this vehicle category in 1997.
Of course, the shape of the previous Mercedes limousines to be abandoned. By summary of luggage and passenger compartment can be both better used. If then the windshield is also adapted to the engine hood
and the largest possible wheelbase is added, will be created a small van. However, even much height. Thus, the A-class is almost 18 cm higher than the succeeding C-class and almost as wide. However, it is styled
much more courageous. Remarkably the side view with the completely unusual ascending of the C-pillar, which continues forward in the rear doors downwards. Thus is created a three-part rear window until far into the
sides. Only the immediate front parts and possibly the rear lights are reminiscent of the brand siblings.
Amazingly, the measured values as a result of the entire design measures. These confirm that in the A-Class in principle is not less space than in the next higher class. More trunk can be created by 2/3 turn down of the
rear seat backs. Light and air is possible with an optional steel sliding roof with 5 lamellae, of which only 4 fold away and one remains as a comparatively large wind deflector. Weight is saved by front fender and rear
hatchback made of plastic. 07/13