Can a shrunken C-Class cement Mercedes-Benz's lead in the luxury segment?

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Mercedes-Benz will expand its lineup of compact cars with a sedan variant of the next-generation A-Class, according to a recent report. The yet-unnamed model will fill the narrow gap that separates the CLA and the C-Class.

The first A-Class sedan will be to the C-Class what the CLA is to the CLS. In short, it will be positioned as a smaller, more affordable model aimed at buyers who want a compact Mercedes that is not as stylish as the curvaceous CLA. The model is being developed to fight head-on against the 1 Series Sedan that BMW exclusively builds and sells in China and the Audi A3 Sedan. That means its main markets will be the United States and China, though it will also join the Mercedes family in Europe.

Across the pond, entry-level variants of the sedan will receive a gasoline- or diesel-burning four-cylinder engine borrowed from industrial partner Renault and tweaked in-house, according to British magazine Autocar. Upmarket variants will benefit from a Mercedes-designed 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, but more specific performance specifications have not been published yet.

The A-Class sedan lineup will also include a plug-in hybrid model powered by the aforementioned 2.0 liter, a compact electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery. The model will be capable of driving on electricity alone, which will help it gain access to China’s increasingly crowded urban centers. Alternatively, the AMG-badged, range-topping A45 will satisfy thrill seekers with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger tuned to develop up to 400 horsepower.

Mercedes’ next four-door model will ride on the upcoming second generation of its MFA platform. Front-wheel drive — par for the course across the segment — and a six-speed manual transmission will come standard, and buyers will be able to pay extra for a nine-speed automatic transmission, 4Matic all-wheel drive, or both depending on the model they select. American enthusiasts who want a stick might be out of luck, however, because the six-speed is unlikely to make the trip across the pond.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan will make its official debut either late in 2017 or in early 2018 and it will arrive in showrooms before the end of 2018. Expect a price tag in the vicinity of $30,000.

Product Review

Sennheiser brings audio perfection to wireless earbuds like no one else can

Sennheiser took its time entering the true wireless earbud market, and the results are what you’d expect from the storied audio brand. The new Momentum offer seamless operation, best-in-class sound, and a high price tag to match.
Cars

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.
Computing

Laptops with Nvidia’s RTX graphics are rumored to arrive at CES 2019

Nvidia may bring ray tracing support found on the desktop-class RTX graphics cards to a more mobile form factor in 2019. The company is expected to unveil new laptop designs with RTX graphics in January at CES.
Smart Home

Is old-school Airstream finally embracing smart home technology?

Airstream's vintage-looking trailers have a huge audience but its 2019 Classic camping trailers are getting a modern upgrade with the addition of app-controlled smart home technology to bring modern convenience online.
Cars

Did that car just wink at you? Daimler previews car-to-pedestrian signals

Eager to show off progress with autonomous cars and perhaps do some consumer softening as well, Daimler and Bosch previewed car-to-pedestrian communications. A sensor-loaded Mercedes S appears to wink to acknowledge a pedestrian's presence.
Cars

Uber is about to restart self-driving car tests but on a reduced scale

Uber is reported to be on the verge of restarting its autonomous-car test program. The company halted it in March 2018 following a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, but its cars could be back on the road within weeks.
Cars

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.
Cars

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Cars

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.