Mercedes-Benz Contemplating CLS Design For A- and B-Class

Mercedes-Benz is contemplating the next-generation A- and B-Class hatchbacks, in the hopes to turn the tide of those two slow selling machines.

In their history, the A- and B-Class hatchbacks are pretty dreadful. First off, the A-Class has been the subject of many safety discussions and both have dreadful sales numbers. In 1997, the W168 A-Class became a household name due to an incident during the “moose test”. During the test run, the A-Class flipped over, which led to a recall of the hatchback. Turns out the suspension needed redone and Mercedes added electronic stability control to help keep the little hatch on its wheels.

The B-Class was launched in 2005 and it was front-wheel drive, like the A-Class. Unlike the A-Class, the larger B-Class has been fairly reliable. Mercedes-Benz has packed the car full of gizmos and gadgets to help keep it on the road and in May 2010, the B-Class scored well in a reliability survey.

Now that all the problems have been resolved, Mercedes is going to attempt to improve sales. The German automaker might use the Shooting Break architecture on the next generation A- and B-Class. That’s not the only design being considered though, as the automaker is also looking at a CLS-style coupe and a CUV-type vehicle, sort of like the BMW X1.

There have also been reports of convertible versions of both hatchbacks, but time will tell. On thing is for certain, however, as no matter which design the automaker picks, it’s going to need a whole lot of something to turn people away from the new line of affordable small cars, such as the new Ford Fiesta and Focus.

In other news, Mercedes is discussing some business with Renault-Nissan that might allow them to hand out their Front-Wheel-drive Architecture for a new Infiniti.

[Automotive News]

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