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2006 Mercedes Vision B Sports Tourer

307web307web Posts: 1,033
edited March 14 in Mercedes-Benz
http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=100798

http://www.cardesignnews.com/autoshows/2004/paris/preview/mercede- s-visionb/

It's planned to be entry-level below the C class and expected to start at about $24,000.
It may go on sale in the US sometime in 2005 as a 2006 model.
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Comments

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Well, it's not a "maybe" - MBUSA has already announced that the car will be coming here pretty much from the get-go. Pricing is one question...the other is just which engines we'll get. Probably only the 2 liter, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were only the turbo here. I'd really like to see the diesel option right from the beginning, but I expect that won't happen, if it is going to happen at all, until the second model year, when low-sulfur diesel will finally be the standard everywhere in the country.

    Anyway, this is a car I've been looking forward to - I'd like to improve on both the interior space and the fuel consumption of our C240, and this car promises to do both....at the expense of front drive, of course.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    Done right, the Vision B will be a big hit, I predict. It has to have luxury features and a level of refinement that other similar cars don't, and it has to have sporty handling and performance. I hope it doesn't have a turbo, though. I don't like the non-linear power delivery of turbos. I wonder if a six cylinder engine will fit.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...no sixes, and you have to define "sporty handling and performance". It will certainly go fast enough with the 2.0 turbo [same hp, less weight, than a C-coupe or C230k sedan, for example]; the EU press has been happy with the new A, on which this car is based [as contrasted with the old A, which was compromised in ride in order to make up for the problems with roll control that showed up early].

    Personally, I don't see this as a "sporty car" - it's a practical, efficient touring car, one which should easily average an honest 30-35 mpg in ordinary use. The chassis isn't designed to handle more than 180 hp or so - it doesn't need it, and if it did, AWD would be necessary. MB decided early on that AWD would push the cost out of the price envelope they wanted to hit.

    The automotive press is going to try to match this car up against the Audi A3 - that's not unfair, but a more appropriate target is probably the Toyota Prius. The B, as usual, will hopefully have MB's traditional bias to refinement and comfort over track performance - the car magazines like to forget that most of us don't drive cars on racetracks.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I'd be surprised if they didn't put more than 180 hp in this car. Look at the PT Cruiser, a similar vehicle with about the same dimensions and, I presume, weight. It has up to 220 hp available.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...when the car's details are announced at the Detroit Show, since the drivetrains are already known:
    http://www.whnet.com/4x4/w245.html

    Why in the world would this car need 200 hp???

    This focus on raw power is what mystifies the rest of the world about Americans...0-60 in 8 seconds is not fast enough??
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    Are you kidding? Mercedes-Benz is in the forefront of the horsepower race! If anything, Americans should be wondering why the Europeans think they need a 493HP S600, for example.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...is all about image. These cars sell in miniscule numbers in Europe, and are considered strictly the provence of the super-rich. The B-class is aimed at real people who drive in the real world and don't have bottomless wallets to keep the tank full.

    But have it your way - if you think MBUSA is going to focus on hp when this car gets released in our market, then so be it. I just think this is a perfectly irrational place to start talking about this car - it's not intended to ba a road burner or a "sports sedan". They'd call it a wagon or a hatchback [more accurate nomenclature] if those labels weren't considered the kiss of death in our market, another mystery I haven't figured out.

    The main attraction of the design is efficiency: it combines nearly-E sized interior space with a footprint that is less than a C.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    Not to belabor the point, but take the C class, for example. I think that they aren't designed for the "super-rich". Yet, they are available in the US with 4 engine choices, ranging from 168 to 362HP. Whatever rationale that MB has for this, I'm assuming that the same kind of thinking will be applied to the B class, and rightfully so. People shopping for an econobox will not be visiting the MB stores.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    The model at the Paris Auto show had a huge glass roof. Is that just for the concept car or is there going to be a fixed glass roof or sliding panarama roof on the production vehicles?
    I would think it will at least have a panarama roof since those have gained popularity starting with the Mini, the C Class hatchback, Cadillac SRX and the BMW X3. Nissan Maximas and Nissan Quests have fixed glass roofs.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    I'm absolutely taken by the look and size. Very hip. The proof will be in the pudding with regard to engines and interiors for me. I like hot hatches, not econoboxes!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...is that the panorama roof is strictly for the show car. More likely a conventional sunroof for the production vehicle...you never know, of course.

    The pano roof option has been the source of a lot of problems in every car in which it's been offered; in the spirit of D-B's new pledge to keep these kinds of complicated, questionably reliable doo-dads to a minimum in future cars, I'll be disappointed if they go this route. In any case, I go out of my way to buy a car without any holes cut in the roof...realizing this is a minority point of view, of course...
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    My guess is that a big sunroof won't be offerred due to the added weight, not to mention cost.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    I guess the actual fully glass roof on the show car is oversized for effect, but I'm wondering if they may still offer a more "standard size" sliding panorama roof (like the Cayenne, X3 and SRX) or just a normal sized moonroof.
    If they can offer it in the low-priced C Class hatchback/coupe, they can probably offer in the B class also.

    image
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  • That's because we'll see a LOT of very nice new cars to be unveiled there.

    It's likely we'll see the world premiere of the final production Mercedes-Benz B-class there, starting with the B200 Turbo. Mercedes will likely give a preview of the B200 CDI, though I think for the US market the engine may be bumped up to 2.2 liters (B220 CDI) with around 150-155 bhp (SAE). The B220 CDI will become available in September 2006 as a 2007 model--just about the time when the US has completely switched to low-sulfur diesel fuel.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    I suppose the low sulfur diesel fuel does not cause problems with all the existing old diesel cars and trucks in the US?
    Do you need a specially-modified engine to run the new fuel?
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Mercedes-Benz' upcoming B-Class wagon won't be headed to the States just yet, though it will go on sale as planned elsewhere in North America. That's the latest from Benz execs in the U.S. and Germany, where concerns over the weak dollar have prompted the re-evaluation of the small B-Class wagon for U.S. customers. A spokesperson told Automotive News that the delay was directly due to the dollar's value, which is cutting into the profits of every major import-brand manufacturer. No date for introducing the B-Class into the U.S. has been set but the spokesperson said the currency issue would have to improve substantially before the B makes it into Benz' Stateside lineup.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...is that MB is having the same angst about this car that BMW is having with the 1er: the desperate marketing worry that the car will somehow "diminish the brand". How a well-executed, truly roomy small car manages to seem inappropriate for either of these makes leaves me scratching my head. MB chose to blame it on the exchange rate; BMW says we'll get the car, but only when they've turned it into a sedan. In the meantime, Audi plans to get on with it - the A3 is still headed here, at least as of 5 minutes ago...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I knew something was up when the Vision B was taken off the MB's U.S. website. I think the exhange rate is a factor, but yes the image played a role too I think. I think Mercedes needs to concentrate on the markets they already compete in, as in better quality and service of their vehicles. Then they can do something different (as in U.S. thinking) like a B-Class thingy. Cute as it is, I don't think it would make it here.

     

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    MBUSA has said there will be no b-class at all. The new a-class sold out in Europe, which means nothing to this market, but it was a much more exciting car than the C230k. Oh well.:-(
  • canada1canada1 Posts: 1
    They are supposed to arrive within 6 months in Vancouver. Starting price $30,000 CA.
  • Hi,

    I just want to point out that there's a post on Treehugger.com about the B-Class (Canadian version):

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/10/mercedes_b-clas_1.php

    They have arrived in Canada. My sister saw one on the road.
  • http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/bm/06b200.htm

    Looks good, have to check this one out further.
  • Here's a really nice assortment of interior and exterior photos, and 360deg. tours from Mercedes Benz of Canada.

    http://www.mercedes-benz.ca/index.cfm?id=4966

    Interestingly, they list the fuel requirement as 91 octane for the NON-turbo as well. I've seen some reviews list it as 87 octane and, at a 10:1 compression ratio, that makes more sense.

    This really is a very impressive design, and I expect it will be reasonably successful in Canada as Canada is more of a small car market to start with. I believe the top three (by sales) cars in Canada are compacts, whereas in the States they are midsize.
  • Looking at the B-class a bit more closely, it's mileage (using Transport Canada's numbers) shows that it is rated as 9.2/7.2 L/100km (city/hwy). Comparatively, the Matrix XR FWD is 8.3/6.4 L/100km so they're behind a comparable design (dimensions, weight) of vehicle by around 10% in fuel efficiency.

    The B-class does have a slightly better hp and torque per weight ratio so it should be a bit more peppy. That's looking at the auto transmission, not the manual.

    Although a completely different kind of car, I find it surprising that my V6 Alero has a lot more power and torque, but in practice gets 7.3 L/100km. It's rated at 6.7L/100km, but Transport Canada's hwy numbers are usually optimistic so that fits.
  • FYI, I received this response from MB, and apparently 91 octane is recommended for even normally aspirated engine in the B-class. With that higher fuel cost and it's rated fuel economy, this wouldn't be all that cheap a vehicle to drive. Not compared to other hatchbacks on the market.

    "The recommended fuel for all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including the B-Class, is premium unleaded fuel
    with the an octane requirement of no less than 91."

    Rick D.
    Brockville, Canada
  • ttbttb Posts: 40
    Does anyone know the normally aspirated engine has variable valve timing and air intake?

    With only 2 valves per cylinder, using premium gas but making only 134 hp with a 11.0:1 compression ratio, it seems to me this is an outdated engine!? I think the par now for normally aspirated 4 banger using regular gas is around 160 hp.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    160 HP is about par for a 2.4 litre engine. The B200 has a 2 litre engine. On paper it is a little lacking in power but on the road it is adequate. If it's power (and, more importantly, torque) you are looking for the B200 Turbo has that covered.
  • ttbttb Posts: 40
    But does it has variable valve timing and air intake to improve fuel efficiency and the rpm range with peak torque? I'm not a technical guy, but seem to me most normally aspirated engines have these nowadays. I asked the salesperson if it has variable valve timing and air intake, he paused and then answered "yes". I tried to look for something in the web that can prove this, but couldn't find any.

    I like Mercedes. I test drove it, both city streets and highway. City is okay, but it disappointed me on highway. I like the car and its versatility, but I have the feeling that Mercedes stick this engine in to keep the MSRP low in order to attract younger buyers.

    Acura's 2.0L 4 cylinder with auto tranny can make 155 hp and 139 lb ft, using regular gas at 9.5L/6.5L (city/hwy) per 100km.

    Mazda's 2.0L 4 cylinder can make 150 hp and 135 lb ft. With auto tranny and using regular gas, it uses 9.1L/6.4L (city/hwy) per 100 km.

    Any info on the normally aspirated engine will be appreciated.
  • maverickmaverick Posts: 11
    Any chance that the Turbo Diesel from europe will be available either in the US or Canada.
  • I dump my cars just before the warranty expires and as I set-out to do my search on my next vehicle, I ran across what I thought of as a possibility, B200.
    After having done my research, I now realize that B200 is not for me. Although, it may be comparable to the likes of Volvo V50 & Audi 3, they all cost at least $10,000 more than Mazda 3sport, Mazda 5 and many many other cars in this category.
    I personally do not care about the octane as I have always used high octanes for better milage & cleaner burning{more environmentally friendly}.
    So who is it for? It's for someone that wants to spend $10K more for a badge & prestige. I however would only pay half as much for those particular badges, at most. :P
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