With the trend toward higher gas prices and smaller cars, Mercedes-Benz is not about to be left behind by its rivals. Based off of a new platform, Mercedes is readying a trio of smaller, front-wheel drive vehicles for U.S. consumption.
Underpinning the new small cars will be the Mercedes Front-wheel drive Architecture, an evolution of the platform the current A- and B-Class are built on. While the U.S. market still won’t get the small hatchbacks, we will be getting three all-new models: a coupe and small crossover are confirmed for the U.S., and either a convertible or a shooting break could potentially round out Mercedes-Benz’s stateside front-wheel drive lineup. The MFA could also potentially spawn a compact entry-level vehicle for Infiniti, coming from Infiniti’s parent company Renault-Nissan just recently having created an alliance with Mercedes parent Diamler.
There could be more front-wheel drive vehicles coming from the three-pointed star in the future. In an interview with Automotive News Europe Mercedes’ head of global sales and marketing, Joachim Schmidt said that Mercedes was developing at least four models on the new MFA.
The coupe to ride on the MFA is the long-rumored “baby CLS.” Those in the know say that the new car looks like a scaled down version of Benz’s curvaceous E-Class-based CLS. The SUV will go head to head with the hot-selling BMW X1 and the upcoming compact Alfa Romeo SUV, set to hit the U.S. around 2013.
Mercedes’ new front-drivers will start in Europe with the all-new B-Class at the end of the year and a new A-Class in summer 2012. Sometime in 2013 is when we will see the coupe, with the SUV coming in 2014; both of those models will have their U.S. introductions less than half a year after they go on sale in Europe.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)