The Mercedes I've been waiting to see is the R-Series, a large, sleek wagon--Ach, don't call it a wagon!--Grand Sports Touring crossover/hybrid concept whatever. It's been making the auto show rounds as the Vision R, and it goes on sale in the US this fall with a 5.0-l V-8, 7-speed transmission, permanent all-wheel drive, and lots of room for six people.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes I've always wanted is the A-class, the tall, wedge-shaped mini sedan which is the Vision's precursor, and which has done well in Europe. There was talk of the A-class coming to the US some day, but it's always been kept a couple of years off.
Now it turns out the similar B-class, a much smaller, much cheaper version of the R-class, was slated to go on sale in the US this year, but it's been delayed indefinitely because of currency fluctuations.
At under $30,000 it was supposed to be the advanced, new, entry-level Benz. According to US media reports, though, it's just as well; it's a difficult car to market, with an untested target market, price sensitivity blah blah blah.
Hm, that's strange, because the B-class is going on sale in Canada this fall, and it doesn't sound like they have any problems marketing it. In fact, according to the MBCA CEO, it sounds pretty damn sweet:
"I'm sure it will be a cool car for younger people, attracting young families as well as people who have another Mercedes-Benz car already. It will be one of our emotional products, going through the ages and through the social positions."Next thing you know, they'll have extended parental leave and super-cheap childcare, too.
The B-class is a Sports Tourer in Mercedes' lexicon, which means it "meets the wishes of today's motorists for a car with generous space, exemplary comfort, excellent practicality, an exciting design and a high level of driving pleasure."
For Euro-Eyes Only: Mercedes B-Class to Debut at Geneva [edmunds.com, via jalopnik]
Mercedes B Targets Younger Buyers [globeandmail.com]
Mercedes B-Klasse European debut site [mercedes-benz.com]