DaimlerChrysler SA spokesperson Deon Ebersohn told Wheels24 there are no plans yet to introduce the B-Class in South Africa. If DCSA decides to do launch the car locally it would probably only be in 2006.
According to Mercedes the new B-Class takes the advantages of different vehicle concepts and combines them into an interesting and distinctive profile of its own: as a Compact Sports Tourer. The vehicle is a a touring, family and recreational vehicle.
Mercedes says that one of the major advantages of the B-Class is the sandwich concept developed by Mercedes-Benz.
Thanks to the space-saving arrangement of the engine and transmission partly in front of and partly beneath the passenger cell, the new B-Class offers the interior spaciousness of larger sedans and estate cars despite its compact external dimensions.
The body has a length of 4 270 mm and rear occupants benefit from the long wheelbase (2 778 mm.); this allows a distance between seats and generous kneeroom which almost matches that in the S-Class.
The B-Class also reaches new dimensions where variability and load capacity are concerned.
Thanks to a height-adjustable load compartment floor, an asymmetrically divided, folding and removable rear seat unit plus an optionally removable front passenger seat, the Compact Sports Tourer is quickly and easily converted from a comfortable touring car to a practical van.
Depending on the number and position of the seats, the load capacity can be increased from 544 to up to 2 245 litres (with rear seats and front passenger seat removed). The maximum loading length is 2.95 metres.
There is a choice of six four-cylinder engines with outputs ranging from 70 kW hp to 142 kW.
The top-of-the-line B200 TURBO is equipped with a new two-litre, four-cylinder engine which delivers a maximum torque of 280 Nm from as little as 1 800 r/min thanks to turbocharging and intercooling, and maintains this value over a wide engine speed range up to 4850 rpm.
This means that the most powerful of the Compact Sports Tourers accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds and achieves a maximum speed of 225 km/h.
The diesel line-up is headed by the B 200 CDI with 103 kWp, which has a remarkably high torque of 300 Newton metres.
The newly developed turbodiesel with common-rail direct injection accelerates the Compact Sports Tourer from nought to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds. The maximum speed of the B200 CDI is 200 km/h.
Fuel consumption for this diesel model is 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres (combined consumption).