Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class: 2011 Shanghai Auto Show

The latest Concept A-Class from Mercedes-Benz is the clearest indication yet as to what the automaker’s next-generation A-Class will look like, and the good news is that the production version of this one is likely to hit U.S. shores.

Revealed today at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show, and again soon at the 2011 New York Auto Show in just a few days, the Concept A-Class precedes the production version expected to go on sale in Europe towards the end of next year. Importantly, the concept’s unveiling in New York hints strongly at a possible local launch.

As can clearly be seen, designers have ditched the current model’s tallish van-like shape and gone with a more traditional, albeit highly stylized, hatchback design.

Special features of the Concept A-Class include a radar-based collision warning system with visual and acoustic notification for the driver, adaptive brakes, LED headlights, fiber-optic daytime running lights and an integrated smartphone that can be controlled by the car’s COMAND rotary knob located on the dash.

Under the hood sits a ‘BlueEfficiency’ turbocharged four-cylinder engine displacing just 2.0-liters but developing a healthy 210 horsepower thanks to the forced induction technology as well as direct injection. The BlueEfficiency tag indicates that this powerplant is one of the greenest in Mercedes’ engine lineup. However, also helping to save fuel and sending drive to the front wheels is a lightweight and compact dual clutch transmission.

Another big departure for the new A-Class model is the introduction of several variants in addition to the previewed hatchback. Instead of having separate A- and B-Class models, Mercedes-Benz is thought to be releasing a family of entry-level models including a familiar minivan model, coupe-like sedan, compact SUV and possibly even a sporty roadster. Hybrid and all-electric versions are also expected to get the tick of approval.

The cars will be built on a new front-wheel drive platform codenamed MFA (Mercedes Frontwheel Architecture), which drops the former sandwich construction for a more conventional car-like design. The main reason Mercedes-Benz is increasing the number of fuel-efficient compact models it sells is not only to help its bottom line but also to reduce its fleet-average emissions. 

Look forward to live shots of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class direct from the 2011 New York Auto Show floor in just a couple of days. 

This story originally appeared at Motor Authori

  Comments | By - April 21, 2011

Daimler Sends Feet to Japan for Disaster Relief Assistance

Daimler has already sent at least 2 million euro worth of cash donation to Japan in order to help with relief efforts after the quake and tsunami disaster that hit the country. Now, the company has decided to amp up the support for victims by sending 50 vehicles worth almost 4 million euro to Nippon

  Comments | By - April 20, 2011

2011 Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Press Conference Video

In case you missed the Mercedes-Benz press conference at the “Auto Shanghai 2011″, then you’ll be happy to know that we’ve got you covered. We’ve got a copy of the entire event, which include one world premiere and three Chinese premieres. The centrepiece of the company’s presentation is the world premiere of the Concept A-Class:

  Comments | By - April 19, 2011

Artists Estelle, David Banner and Daley with BLAG Magazine Create “Benz” Inspired by Janis Joplin

The classic and historical 1971 Janis Joplin lyrics “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me…” has led to a collaborative effort between singer and songwriter Estelle, rapper and producer David Banner and the soul singer artist Daley.  Led by British based international style magazine BLAG, the collaboration results in a new song releasing on April 18, 2011.

The track, titled “Benz” by Grammy award winning producer David Banner, was recorded at Record Plant in Los Angeles in February 2011.  A new melody and lyrics inspired by Joplin’s famous song are brought to life by the three artists and their different musical styles to create a harmonious and upbeat flow inspired by Banner’s Mississippi roots.

BLAG is internationally releasing the new track and video on April 18, 2011 via iTunes along with the debut of its BLAG Deluxe App for iPad and coffee table magazine featuring the making of the Benz video, photos, and interviews with Estelle, David Banner and Daley.

The original Janis Joplin track was created before any of the artists were born, however, according to Sally A. Edwards, who co-owns BLAG with her twin sister Sarah J. Edwards, “The song still resonates with all of us and when we came together on the meaning for the new version, we thought it should be about ambition and triumph. The fact it’s the 125th anniversary of the car is symbolic and the perfect tie-in,” said Sally Edwards, who loves bringing people together and felt Estelle, David Banner and Daley, could pull together something just as meaningful as the original lyrics given their different musical styles and backgrounds.

“We were honored that these creative artists chose to record a song about the Mercedes-Benz brand and after hearing about their project it was an easy decision to work with BLAG magazine to lend our support,” said Christoph Horn, Director Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars.

About BLAG and the participating artists

BLAG is a high-end British music, fashion, art, film, culture and design magazine and iPad App with global distribution, created entirely by founders Sally A. Edwards and Sarah J. Edwards. They possess excellent contacts in the cultural, music and art scenes.

David Banner a Grammy Award winning producer, rapper, actor and philanthropist achieved his musical breakthrough with the 2003 single “Like a Pimp” and the album “Mississippi – The Album”. He has since released 5 albums including “The Greatest Story Ever Told” in 2008 which featured several guest appearances by the likes of Yung Joc, Snoop Dogg, Akon and Chris Brown. His most recent album “Death Of A Popstar” is a joint effort with 9th Wonder, and in stores now. His past production credits include: Lil Wayne, Kanye West, T.I., Nelly, Maroon 5, Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, Jamie Foxx, Anthony Hamilton, Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes and Zac Brown.

Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Estelle released her first studio album “The 18th Day” in 2004 from which three singles (“1980,” “Free,” and “Go Gone”), made the UK Top 40 charts. In 2008 Estelle landed at the top of the UK and US charts with ‘American Boy’ featuring Kanye West. The single took a Grammy Award for Best collaboration and was Song of the Year nominee. ‘American Boy’ received a huge amount of airplay in Europe, the US and Canada and made history as the third ever number one UK single to be certified platinum by the RIAA for digital sales alone exceeding one million. The single was taken from Estelle’s second album, ‘Shine’ where she also collaborated with Cee-Lo Green, Will.I.Am, Kardinal Offishall and John Legend. Estelle has since worked with David Guetta on ‘Freak’ for her third album, ‘All of Me’ which will be released in 2011. Besides music, Estelle is heavily involved in philanthropy and set up the ‘All of Me Foundation’ with a mission to educate, enlighten and expand the horizons of young people.

British soul singer Daley is considered an exceptional talent. His unique and extraordinarily expressive voice led to his discovery by the BBC in 2009 and in 2010 he was named in the “BBC’s Sound of 2011”. He collaborated with the British band Gorillaz as lead vocalist on their latest single “Doncamatic” in November 2010.

Information and facts on production of the video and song “Benz”

Initiator and Publisher: BLAG Magazine – Sally A. Edwards & Sarah J. Edwards
Music: David Banner
Lyrics and Vocals: David Banner, Estelle and Daly
Producer: David Banner
Executive Producers Song: Sally A. Edwards, Sarah J. Edwards and Corey Smyth
Video Directors and Producers: Sally A. Edwards & Sarah J. Edwards
Video Producers: Matt Goldberg and Brandon Carroll, Herzog and Company, Los Angeles
DP: David Robert Jones
Production Designer: Melanie Jones
Video Editor: Jared Varava
Car in Video: Mercedes-Benz 280 SE Convertible (Model W111, built in 1971)


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  Comments | By - April 19, 2011

Modified C63 AMG Boasts Of 900 Horsepower

Car enthusiasts being what they are, it is not really a surprise when a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG owner decides that 450 horsepower is not enough. In this case, owner Keith Brantley contracted Modern Horsepower (MHP) to remake his C63 AMG. The resulting package, nicknamed the Red Brown Arrow, is touted to be the world’s fastest

  Comments | By - April 18, 2011

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