Press Kit: The new-generation B-Class


Design: Fine-tuning to the last detail

Radiator grille, bumpers and bonnet in a new design
Door handles, mirror housings and side skirts painted in the vehicle colour
Interior with new, high-grade materials

Stuttgart, May 20, 2008 - Mercedes designers envisaged a versatile, compact yet spacious car when they produced the basic stylistic concept for a B-Class some years ago - a car that offered space but also combined the exciting, dynamic appearance of a sporty automobile with the prestige of a Mercedes saloon.

The result was a new concept with its own design idiom: the Sports Tourer. Although it offers the space and comfort of larger saloons or estates, the taut forms and crisp lines of the B-Class suggest forward-flowing energy and create a desire to take the wheel.
This is truer than ever for the new-generation B-Class. The designers have revised the radiator grille as the stylistic centrepiece of the front end, as well as the bonnet and front bumper. The resulting recomposition makes the B-Class appear more purposeful than before. The three (previously four) cross fins in the radiator grille are now painted in metallic grey and embellished with fine chrome strips, while the redesigned bumper emphasises the large air intake at the bottom.

This new design idiom makes the front look broad and, as a consequence, especially powerful, symbolising the sporty attributes of the B-Class even more clearly than before. These qualities include the car's agility and its forward thrust, something which is further underlined by the more pronounced arrow shape of the bonnet, radiator grille and bumper. This has the effect of making the entire front section appear to be surging dynamically forwards - a highly expressive styling element of the current Mercedes design idiom, which can be appreciated better than ever before in the 2008 model year version of the B-Class. The front end's arrow shape is continued rearwards in the form of an understated but effective line running up the centre of the bonnet. The sporty and powerful appearance of the B-Class is also underlined by the headlamps, which extend well into the flanks. This clear emphasis on width indicates unmistakable attributes such as power, poise and performance.

Expressive lines suggesting dynamism and elegance

The vehicle’s silhouette shows a clear two-box concept characterised by the tight, extended arch described from the roof pillars at the front end to the heavily inclined D-pillar, suggesting both dynamism and elegance. The rising side contour with the waistline already commencing in front of the mirror triangle gives a definite impression of forward thrust.

Typical distinguishing features of the current Mercedes style are also very much in evidence in the side profile of the B-Class, which presents an interplay between taut forms and crisp lines. Of particular note is the character line, which rises progressively from the front wing to the rear tail light, thereby marking an intriguing divide between the concave and convex-formed surfaces along the body's flanks. This line further underscores the body's wedge-shaped form, and thereby gives added impact to the Sports Tourer's athletic, powerful nature.

The emotional appeal is also heightened by the large side window area, which shows a sporty taper towards the rear but in no way compromises the feeling of generous spaciousness enjoyed by the occupants. The impression of dynamic length is also emphasised because the mirror triangle and the B and C-pillars match the colour of the window surface, forming a visually uninterrupted line.

In the 2008 model year B-Class, the design at the sides seems even more harmonious and elegant than before because the exterior mirror housings, door handles and skirt panels are now painted to match the body colour on all model variants. The restyled wheel trims and light-alloy wheels add further touches of class to the exterior looks.
The athletic proportions resulting from a long wheelbase and short overhangs are well matched by the muscular front wings, which attract the eye to the 15 or 16-inch wheels depending on the engine variant. If the sports package is specified, the wheel arches even boast 17-inch light-alloy wheels in a sporty ten-spoke design.

Broad-shouldered rear end with an imposing presence

The rear styling picks up on the dynamic flow of lines at the front and along the sides. A direct visual link is created by the tail light assemblies, whose upper edges merge seamlessly with the character line along the vehicle's sides. A very wide rear window extending slightly into the sides, as well as a rudimentary spoiler, visually lower the height of the vehicle and serve to emphasise its width even more.
The tail lights in a new, high-brilliance look draw the gaze to the large tailgate, which now comes with en ergonomically enhanced chrome handle strip. The rear bumper has been remodelled too, and includes a black-grained plastic insert on its upper face as standard which serves as a load sill guard. If the B-Class is specified with either the chrome or the sports package, this insert is made of polished stainless steel instead, to add yet another gleaming highlight to the tail's design.
Three new metallic paint finishes are optionally available: steppe brown, lotus blue and mountain grey.

High-grade interior for a feel-good atmosphere

High-class appeal, attention to detail and a sense of ample spaciousness - these qualities have always been intrinsic to the B-Class. The blend of forms, colours and materials teams up with the interior's roominess, the pleasant feel of all its surface materials and the expansive window areas to produce a most inviting ambience. This is helped by the high seating position - which, incidentally, improves the driver's all-round view, too - while the relatively high waistline fosters a sense of security.

The Mercedes design team has upgraded the interior with a new upholstery fabric, plus a new fabric pattern for the seat cushions. If the B-Class is ordered with the sports package, the side seat bolsters are trimmed in ARTICO man-made leather and the centre panels in fabric. The interior door linings likewise feature a new fabric trim.
The centre console continues to be bordered by trim strips on both sides, but they are now made from diagonally brushed aluminium in a smoke grey finish. The same integrated trim is found again in the vicinity of the gearshift and in the door panelling, giving the interior an added sense of refinement. Such fine touches demonstrate just how much attention to detail has been invested in even the basic version of the B-Class, as well as the high standards to which it has been specified.
The high-grade interior door linings continue the basic lines of the dashboard and seamlessly extend them into the armrests, which house the power window switches in line with the overall operating logic. The same high-grade materials also provide a harmonious transition between the dashboard and the front doors, and ensure a perfect connection which rigorously avoids any interruption in the look and feel to give the occupants a feeling of safety and security. The same applies to the rear doors, which echo the front doors in their form and structure to provide an interior which appears to be cast from a single mould.

Copyright © 2008, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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