The first images of the interior of the upcoming Mercedes Benz B Class broke loose on the Internet almost two months before the car’s official debut, scheduled for the Frankfurt Motor Show. The model will go on sale on the European market by the end of next year.
First of all, the general impression this interior leaves is that it looks very attractive, successfully combining modern and retro elements. The first thing we notice is the disappearance of the gearbox knob, which has been moved from the traditional position on the central dashboard to a brand new location on the steering wheel column. However, this only applies to the models equipped with an automatic transmission; manual gearbox versions will get the regular knob between the front seats, like most cars out there.
The dashboard features a touchscreen display on the upper part of the central console, while the sporty three-spoke steering wheel reminds us of the one from the CLS flagship. The air vents also feature sporty accents and are pretty similar to the ones from the German carmaker’s sports car range, like the SLS AMG or the new SLK.
The new Mercedes Benz B Class promises to make a revolutionary leap in the compact class and has a total length of 4,359 mm (14.3 feet), a total width of 1,785 mm (5.8 feet) and is 1,557 mm (5.1 feet) tall. Thanks to several special optimizations, the car’s drag coefficient is only 0.26 and was the result of more than 1,100 hours spent by the German engineers testing the car in the wind tunnel.
Besides these, customers will also be able to choose an optional package, called ECO Technology, which further improves the car’s drag, lowering it to 0.24. The package features a lowered ride height, several new parts mounted under the car to improve air flow and better frames for the lateral windows.
Regarding the engine range, the new B Class will be offered with several four-cylinder engines. The entry level unit has a 1.6-liter displacement and delivers 122 hp and 200 Nm of peak torque, while the top of the range powerplant is a turbocharged version of the same engine and produces 156 hp and 250 Nm of torque.
As for the diesel engines, Mercedes Benz will offer a 1.8-liter delivering 109 hp and 250 Nm and an optional version of the same engine that produces 136 hp and 300 Nm. These will be the engines the new B Class will debut with, but Mercedes also considers a top of the line 2.0-liter engine, which will be the most powerful unit in the range. All powertrains will come with Start/Stop technology as standard and customers will be able to choose between a six-speed manual or a seven-speed 7G Tronic automatic transmission. Mercedes also plans hybrid, electric and hydrogen-powered versions, but we’ll probably only going to see these in a few years.