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by Tim Beissmann

The first details of the upcoming 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class have been revealed ahead of the compact MPV’s world premiere at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The second-generation B-Class will hit European showrooms in November.

Mercedes-Benz Australia’s Jerry Stamoulis confirmed the new B-Class would arrive in Australia in the second quarter of 2012.

Mr Stamoulis said timing of the smaller, all-new third-generation A-Class had not yet been confirmed, but said it was likely to reach local showrooms about 12 months after the B-Class, around mid-2013.

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed two new turbocharged four-cylinder engines in four different tunes will be available from launch (depending on the market).

The petrol engine is a completely new design. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz B 180 will feature a 90kW/200Nm 1.6-litre engine, while the new B 200 will get a 115kW/250Nm tune. Both will produce maximum torque from a super-low 1250rpm.

The 1.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engine is an evolution of the engine used in larger models like the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class. The B 180 CDI produces 80kW and 250Nm (from 1400rpm) while the B 200 CDI makes 100kW and 300Nm (at 1600rpm).

The engines will be teamed with a six-speed manual transmission and will be available with an optional 7G-DCT seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Start/stop technology will be standard on all four engine tunes.

Mercedes-Benz admits the new B-Class has been designed to accommodate ‘alternative drive’ systems, with the floor incorporating what Mercedes calls an ‘energy space’. With the new B-Class architecture expected to survive for most of this decade, expect hybrid, EV and fuel cell models to join the line-up in the future.

The 2012 B-Class will get a host of new safety features, many debuting in the compact class for the first time, including Collision Prevention Assist, Brake Assist and Pre-Safe, as well as Blind Spot and Lane Keeping Assist, speed limit sign recognition, Active Parking Assist and reversing camera.

More details of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class will be revealed at the vehicle’s Frankfurt unveiling in September.

More interior and exterior spy shots of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class can be seen here.




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