After more than a year of holding talks with other automakers about potentially sharing a platform for a next-generation replacement for the A and B-Class
has apparently decided to go it alone. AutoCar is reporting that the replacement for Mercedes
two front wheel drive models will be developed in house but will abandon the sandwich floor layout used for the first two generations. The design provided packaging advantages by allowing the engine to be designed to slide between the layers in the event of a frontal collision. This provided a very short nose without sacrificing crush space.
The new cars
will use a more conventional front wheel drive configuration that is much less expensive to manufacture. The new engines that will be used could be shared with other Mercedes cars
, unlike the lay down engines in the current A/B-Class that are unique to those cars. The new architecture will allow Daimler to build other body styles using the same hardware. What does this mean? Expect to see coupe and MPV
bodies coming from Mercedes.