Mercedes-Benz is updating its teensy B-Class hatchback, and our colleagues at Motor Trend have caught the next-generation B testing in Europe. The current front-wheel-drive B-Class was introduced in Europe back in 2005, so it’s certainly due for a refresh.
As the pictures show, the new car doesn’t radically depart from the styling of the current B-Class. It remains a tall, skinny hatchback with sensible lines. The front and rear wear lighting assemblies in keeping with modern Mercedes designs. The car does appear longer than its predecessor in the spy photos, but we’ll have to wait to see the finalized spec sheet to know for certain.
The new B-Class will be based on the Mercedes Front Architecture platform, which also underpins the next-gen A-Class. It will employ small-displacement inline-four engines, with a host of standard comfort and safety technologies. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that the B-Class will be sold in the U.S. The market for small luxury hatchbacks just isn’t very big in American, as proven by prior failures like the C-Class Sport Coupe.
Lovers of all things Benz can take comfort in knowing that the next-gen A-Class will come here, probably after its European launch in 2012. The car was previewed by the glitzy Concept A-Class at the New York auto show, and is similarly based on the new MFA platform.The MFA chassis is expected to spawn a small crossover, a coupe-like sedan, and a small electric van for the U.S. market.
The B-Class will likely make its debut in Europe at the Frankfurt Motor Show at the end of this year. The A-Class should hit European markets in summer 2012. Visit Motor Trend to see the full set of spy photos.
Source: Motor Trend