Mercedes-Benz lifted the covers on their new ‘grown-up’ A-Class in Amsterdam last night, revealing a new high-tech interior that will surely raise the bar for the entire compact car segment.
Featuring an optional dual screen panoramic display first seen on the E and S-Class, the new A-Class comes equipped with similar voice control technology to that of a smartphone. For example, the command ‘Hey Mercedes, I’m cold!’ will bring up a prompt to adjust the temperature of the car, not unlike SIRI on the iPhone.
It also features artificial intelligence which will allow it to learn your daily routine and make prompts and suggestions based on that. For example, if you call your boss on the way to work every morning, it might start reminding you to do so.
There’s more of that artificial intelligence in the driving, with a raft of semi-autonomous driving features now available. This includes map-based speed adaption with predictive speed reduction when approaching curves and junctions, active steering with advanced lane change assist and an autonomous braking system with pedestrian and cross-traffic protection. Mercedes say their aim with these technologies are to make the roads safer for all road users and not just their own customers.
The looks haven’t changed dramatically, bar the predictable sharpening up of lines here and there, but a more dramatic front grille and some sleeker, pulled back headlights are enough to give it a more modern and youthful look than before.
They’ve also managed to make it more family friendly this time around. The boot is a useful 29 litres larger than the outgoing model, with better access thanks to a wider opening. Same goes for the back doors which now open wider than before and they’ve also eeked out a bit of extra head, elbow and shoulder room for the passengers in the cabin.
A new chassis and extensive work on aerodynamics and sound insulation in the cabin promises a more engaging, comfortable and relaxing drive this time around. More on that, as well as Irish specifications and pricing when it arrives here in April.