Mercedes-Benz is holding the North American debut of its innovative Compact Sports Tourer Vision B concept car at the North American International Auto Show, open to the public January 15-23 at Detroit’s Cobo Center. Offering a glimpse into the future, the Compact Sports Tourer Vision B offers impressive comfort, generous interior room and surprising practicality, with a sharp focus on safety, performance and dynamic handling.
The Vision B combines the advantages of a sports sedan, SUV and wagon in one versatile vehicle that seems destined to establish a new automotive category. The Compact Sports Tourer Vision B provides an unusually impressive combination of features – the comfort and style of a luxury vehicle, the performance and handling of a fine sports sedan, along with the versatility of an SUV. Innovative design and useful technology now make possible an automotive decathlete – a vehicle that can excel at an unprecedented range of owner needs without sacrificing aesthetics.
An Unusual “Sandwich” Double Floor
A front-mounted, transverse engine-transmission unit and a patented double “sandwich” floor gives the bold Vision B the crashworthiness and interior room of a much larger sedan or wagon – nearly 70 percent of its body length is available for occupants and their luggage. In fact, with a length of 4,270 mm, the new “Vision B” compact sports tourer is about 270 mm shorter than the current mid-size C-Class sedan. While it’s designed to accommodate a number of conventional and alternative powerplants, the Detroit show car is powered by a high-efficiency four-cylinder diesel engine.
Large-Car Strength in a Compact Package
The Vision B compact sports tourer features longitudinal frame members that run the length of the vehicle through its double floor, without the usual “dog-leg” at the front and rear cross-members. While conventional cars usually have offset frame members that stop and begin again at several points, the innovative Vision B features an uninterrupted structural design that provides large-car crashworthiness in a compact vehicle.
Its transverse front-drive engine and transmission are angled at 60 degrees so that the powertrain unit is located partially under the vehicle. In addition to providing unprecedented interior room for its size, the powertrain layout becomes a protective wall in the event of a frontal impact and is actually designed to slide further under the car in a severe collision instead of pushing its way into the occupant cell. To complement these safety innovations, the Vision B comes with two-stage adaptive front airbags, seat belt tensioners for the front and rear seats, adaptive belt-force limiters and newly developed head-thorax side airbags.
While the instrument cluster and centre console are finished in brushed aluminium, the dash, seats and door panels of the Vision B compact sports tourer are covered in a new, high-tech material that resembles the airy lightness of high-quality sportswear. The Vision B also comes with the steering wheel controls that have made easier operation of the audio system, telephone and central display on other Mercedes models. With a 425 litre trunk, the 1/3-2/3 split folding rear seat of the Vision B can be folded flat to provide more than 1,350 litres of cargo room.
Innovative ALU-BEAM Paint Looks like Polished Aluminium
The Vision R show car is finished in a newly developed ALU-BEAM paint that looks more like polished aluminium than traditional silver paint. Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker worldwide to use this innovative process, which makes use of 100 to 300-nanometer pigments to create the realistic metal-finish effect. The company intends to develop the new paint technology for eventual use on production vehicles.
About Mercedes-Benz Canada
Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the three brands within the Mercedes Car Group in Canada; Mercedes-Benz, smart, and Maybach. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada employs approximately 910 people in 23 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 19 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 39 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 13,259 vehicles during 2004.
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