MERCEDEZ-BENZ has announced that they will be giving pride of place in Ireland to two models from their new A- Class range, both of which are due to arrive here in December. One will be an A180 petrol version at €26,435 (ex works) and the other an A180 CDI diesel version at €28,550 - the latter model being the one predicted to take the spotlight in Ireland, thanks in part to its CO2 emissions of just 98g/km.
Billed as the car that many believe will introduce the luxury car maker to a completely new, younger generation of customers, both models will come in a choice of three specifications and equipment lines - Style Pack, Urban Pack and Sports Pack. Entry models sold here will all be equipped with the Style Pack option - a package that includes items which, were they purchased separately, would have a value equivalent to €1,600.
To highlight what is seen as one of the A- Class' USPs - its iPhone and iPad compatibility - the launch plan being put together by Mercedes-Benz will major heavily on Facebook and smart phone App technology to create an 'interactive platform' whereby prospective customers can scroll through its features to select the model that suits them best.
Since its debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, 40.000 orders already placed even before production has commenced, Mercedes-Benz has had to supplement production capacity to meet expected demand.
As different from its predecessor as it is possible to be, the new A- Class sits some 18cm closer to the ground - a lower-slung posture that gives it a distinctly sporty, youthful appearance.
Built on the B- Class platform, its on board high-tech functionality is such that iPhone Siri voice-activated units and iPad music and Apps can be played through the car's infotainment system.
All engines offer an idle-stop system as standard, linked to a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Front-wheel drive, the new A- Class has a new four-link rear suspension system with a range of settings on offer that includes an optional sports setting with direct steer.
Collision Prevention Assist, Attention Assist, Adaptive Brake Assist and Brake Hold are all part of its standard safety features.