Mercedes-Benz has developed an advanced technology suite for the A-Class, giving owners of the hatchback access to all the key content of their iPhone through the car’s ‘floating’ touchscreen display.
Seen here for the first time, the interior of the new A-Class closely mirrors that of the all-new B-Class, although the small premium hatch will be sharper and edgier.
The all-new A-Class will debut at the Geneva motor show on March 6 and is destined to launch in Australia in the first quarter of 2013.
The A-Class combines two new systems: the ‘Drive Kit Plus for Apple iPhone’ and the ‘Digital DriveStyle App’.
Integrated into the A-Class’s infotainment system is Apple’s new Siri program – a function of the iPhone 4S that acts as a personal assistant. Using verbal commands, drivers can ask Siri to access a personal calendar to make appointments or plan meetings, send and receive texts and emails, enquire about the weather, access the device’s music library, and much more.
Teaming with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, the A-Class will create a “socially interactive experience” for sharing, posting and music integration with text-to-speech functionality.
Drivers will have access to Aupeo Personal Radio, which offers radio stations that compile an individual program for listeners and recommends music they may enjoy.
The Garmin satellite navigation incorporates internet-based real-time traffic information, as well as online ‘points of interest’ searches and 3D map displays. Additionally, the Car Finder program automatically stores the vehicle’s location in the owner’s iPhone, making it easy to find your way back to the car.
All iPhone integration functions can be used across the new A-Class range, even with the entry-level Audio 20 system.
Mercedes-Benz Australia’s Jerry Stamoulis said the brand expected the technology to be available in the A-Class range in Australia, but said the full specifications of our car were still to be finalised.
Stamoulis said Mercedes-Benz Australia did not view the Drive Kit Plus for Apple iPhone as a “nice-to-have” feature, but as a “must-have” feature, insisting it was right up the alley of the car’s demographic, which he described as iPhone users and those in-touch with social networks, as well as people after a fuel-efficient small car with strong performance.
The full Drive Kit Plus will appear for the first time in the A-Class at Geneva, and Mercedes-Benz says it will roll out the full connectivity into its B-Class, C-Class and E-Class model lines in Europe in the second quarter of 2012.