Everything appears to be very simple and well laid out, with the radio, HVAC and COMAND controls nicely separated from one another. And if that steering wheel looks familiar, it's because it's the same one found in the new-for-2012 CLS. Mercedes says that the B-Class' cabin can be fitted with high-end materials, too, including ARTICO man-made leather on the dashboard. (What, no Designo interior package?). We also note the charismatic round air vents that mimic those fitted to the SLS AMG gullwing, suggesting that this form will spread throughout the entire Mercedes lineup going forward.
We'll have exterior images to go along with these interior shots closer to the car's Frankfurt debut. For now, get a feel for what it's like to be behind the wheel of a B-Class in our high-res image gallery and follow the jump for Merc's press release.
- High standards for materials, image and quality
- Emotional design idiom with sporty qualities
- Inspired by ideas from the Advanced Design Center in Como
High-quality materials and superbly finished surfaces, fine details, precise workmanship and a new spaciousness – the interior of the B-Class raises the bar in the compact car segment.
Many of the details or elements had previously been the sole preserve of higher-end vehicle segments and correspond to the new Mercedes-Benz design philosophy in terms of image and quality. For example, the dashboard may be covered with stitched ARTICO man-made leather.
The first thing that strikes you when looking at the vehicle's interior is the large, three-dimensional decorative element spanning the entire dashboard. This is available in four variants covering a broad spectrum including modern, sporty and classic. What all of these versions share is a high perceived quality that, in addition to the visual and haptic experience, also includes ease of care and a long useful life.
With this high-quality overall concept and a harmonious balance between the familiar, new and progressive, the interior of the B-Class reflects the latest findings in the field of perceptual psychology made by Daimler AG's Customer Research Center (CRC).
The three large circular vents in the centre of the dashboard and their unique grilles, in the style of the sporty Mercedes-Benz model ranges, add to the design idiom of the interior.
Above the vents is the high quality screen, which is available in two sizes. With its first-class design (including an ornamental frame with galvanised surface contrasting with the piano black of the front panel) and sleek dimensions, the colour display (TFT) is a real gem in the cockpit.
The new three-spoke steering wheel, used for example in the CLS, including an insert in the centre spoke that is always finished in silver chrome, an instrument cluster with four round, analogue displays and hanging needles in the 6 o'clock position and seats with contrasting stitching reinforce the car's sporty image.
The influence of the Advanced Design Studio in Como is also reflected in the interior design of the new B-Class. One example is the free-floating, streamlined screen in the new Mercedes B-Class. The fact that the B-Class takes quality in the compact class to a whole new level is also thanks to a new approach by Mercedes-Benz that first originated in Como. Following the "appreciation model", designers can implement their ideal concepts then look for a way to transfer these ideas to series production. This produces a harmonious and high-quality end result.
The new B-Class will be making its international debut at the IAA in Frankfurt (13th to 25th September 2011). It will then be rolled out to European dealerships in November 2011.