The highly anticipated, all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class has just been unveiled and while it may attract mixed opinions on how it looks, it’s undoubtedly the most technologically-advanced A-Class produced by Mercedes-Benz.
Without further ado, here are the five cool features we think will throw you off the edge and open those cheque books when the A-Class finally makes its debut in Malaysia.
Mercedes Benz User Experience
The new A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature the new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system with artificial intelligence.
The system comprises of a high-resolution Widescreen cockpit with touchscreen operation of the media display, the navigation display with augmented reality technology intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated with the words “Hey Mercedes”.
A head-up display is also available. The touchscreen is part of the comprehensive MBUX touch-control concept – a triad consisting of the touchscreen, touchpad on the centre console and touch control buttons in the steering wheel.
Artificial intelligence is used for the prediction features, which are also part of MBUX with extended functions. With these, MBUX anticipates what the user would like next.
For instance, anyone who often telephones their mother on Tuesdays during the journey home will receive her telephone number as a suggestion on the display on this day of the week. Anyone who regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time also receives this as a suggestion.
Intelligent Drive; with functions from the S-Class
The new A-Class comes with the latest driving assistance systems adopted from the S-Class where for the first time its able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. It comes with improved camera and radar systems to allow it to see up to 500 metres ahead.
Features in the optional Driving Assistance Package includes Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Brake Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist and Traffic Sign Assist.
The new A-Class is also the first Mercedes-Benz model to have been developed at the new Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety. The design of the vehicle have been influenced by research from real accidents. The highly rigid passenger cell is credit to the use of high-strength and press-hardened sheet steel.
Another highlight of the MBUX is its intelligent voice control with natural language comprehension, which is activated by the words “Hey Mercedes”.
It allows the users to control the vehicle’s various functions including phone calls, writing and hearing messages, weather, forecast, climate control, heating and lighting.
Not limited to certain default commands, MBUX’s LINGUATRONIC is able to recognise and understand virtually every command. For example, “Will the sun be shining tomorrow in KL?” is now understood equally as well as “Will the weather be fine in KL tomorrow?”.
The system is so flexible that, to change the air-con temperature, you can say “I am cold” instead of “Change temperature to 24-degrees”.
The optional head-up display is a new feature in the A-Class which now also allows you to configure other functions of the car via the settings menu within the head-up display itself – a first in its class.
A series of lenses and mirror project a full-colour image (24 x 8 cm) into the windscreen – that makes it look like its floating above the bonnet. The head-up display can project navigation instructions, vehicle speed, speed limits or the settings for cruise control or Active Distance Control DISTRONIC.
Exciting new interior design
For the first time, a cowl above the cockpit has been completely removed. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity.
Thanks to the omission of a cockpit cowl, the main body of the dashboard extends from one door to the other, behind the seemingly free-floating widescreen.
The five round air vents have a new turbine look inspired by the world of aviation – where the air vanes have been arranged to mimic the impression of a jet aircraft turbine.
The newly designed 3‑spoke steering wheel, door handles, centre console and seats follow a modern design language. The ring-shaped, completely closed door-pull handle is rather unusual but claimed to be ergonomic.