Most of the Mercedes-Benz lineup is based on rear-drive architecture that would make for great racing platforms. That's how you end up with the C-Class in DTM and Superstars, the E-Class in V8 Supercars and the SLS AMG in GT3, to name just a few. But don't think that Benz's new front-drive platform won't make the transition to racing.
Mercedes itself, after all, showed a CLA-based racer at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, but British outfit Ciceley Racing is hitting the racetrack on its own with this A-Class racer. Set to tackle the British Touring Car Championship this season, the new A-Class racer may not be quite ready to hit Silverstone and Brands Hatch just yet, but the team has already revealed what it will look like, complete with racing livery and WIX Racing sponsorship.
The actual racer is being developed to meet the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) regulations that have opened up the BTCC grid to more (and more diverse) competitors in the last few seasons than ever before in the series' long history. Expect the finished version, as a result, to feature a 2.0-liter turbo four with upwards of 300 horsepower, driving the front wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox with AP Racing brakes and clutch, Cosworth racing ECU, adjustable suspension, 18-inch center-lock alloys and an aggressive aero kit.
Testing kicks off next week before former Ginetta GT champion Adam Morgan drives it in the season opener at Brands Hatch at the end of March, marking the first time Mercedes will be present on the BTCC grid since the 1980s. In the meantime you can scope out the high-resolution images in the gallery above and the video clip and press release below for more.
"The WIX RACING Effect"
New 2014 Race Livery released first on the Mercedes A-Class Show Car
WIX Racing are pleased to announce the release of their long awaited New WIX Racing Livery on the pictured show car version of the Mercedes A-Class, which will replicate the anxiously awaited Race Car version out for testing next week for the first time! With the design being an exact replica of that of the WIX Racing BTCC car, fans can now have a glimpse of the exciting new WIX Racing look fixed for the BTCC 2014 season. It may look familiar to you.........
WIX Filters & Ciceley Motorsport in partnership with our support sponsors, FAI Automotive, MAC Tools, Fuchs Oils and Finch Signs have worked in close association to produce a car design that is constant and reflects the striking black and yellow colours of the title sponsor WIX Racing, whilst incorporating the new all-important supporting sponsor logos. We believe they all compliment the overall look and design fantastically on the 2014 design.
'All here at WIX are delighted with the look of the New WIX Racing Mercedes and we are very excited about the 2014 season ahead' Wayne Stevens – Managing Director. 'This year is set to be the most competitive and exciting season ever, with a full grid and so many champions, not forgetting the current one. Being involved with the BTCC as a title sponsor has been fantastic for WIX. It has really supported and elevated the positioning of our brand across many segments of the market and also to the general public and avid fans of the sport. In my opinion, it's clear to me that it's the most exciting and engaging motorsport platform to be involved in, with the most passionate of fans of all ages. It truly makes for a great weekend and also a fantastic live TV spectacle. We hope to be involved for a while and work in close partnership with Ciceley Motorsport and our supporting sponsor's longer term, especially with the new exciting Mercedes A-Class.'
Russell Morgan comments "The commercial value of a title sponsor can never be underestimated. The WIX Racing team have already demonstrated what they are able to achieve in BTCC, with regards to working with the driver and the team to raise both the profiles. They are as passionate interacting with all of the team and especially the fans of the team with giveaways and competitions, with lots to come on race weekends. Their technical expertise is just as important to the team as their financial assistance and this has clearly been reflected in the design of the car. I am extremely pleased with the look of the show car and the overall partnerships we are enjoying this year with WIX and all the supporting partnerships. I am looking forward to having the race car design implemented, ready for the first round at the end of March. We are really excited about the 2014 season ahead with WIX Racing in our New Mercedes A-Class'.
The 'stand out' design not only flows throughout the BTCC and show car, but has also been reflected in the new WIX Racing merchandise designed with Dread and is available to pre-order online via the newly designed WIX Racing website www.wixracing.co.uk. If you want to see how Finch Signs wrapped the WIX Racing Mercedes from start to finish, click on the link provided. Look out for pictures and more from our maiden test day coming hopefully next week.