Archive for July, 2011

New Merc A Class Love

Mercedes have taken an (almost) entirely new direction with the new A Class. In a stark departure from the twin-floor, high roof layout of its W168 and W169 predecesssors, which fit the cabin space of an E-Class into the floor space of a Ford Ka, the new car is going for more mainstream appeal.

Designated the W176, the new A-Class is pitched squarely at the VW Golf segment, taking on not just the Golf, but the A3, 1-Series and other premium family hatches. Aimed at 30-40 year old professionals, some have said, that it looks a lot like an Opel Corsa. In fairness it is quite a good looking car. Fans of the old A-Class may prefer the new W246 B-Class which has the twin floor high-box design, although.

I think Mercedes Benz are running a real risk in changing the type of car that the name refers to, although I’m sure a Golf-sized product makes perfect sense in their range, and it may be that, at least in part, this decision came about as a result of the well publicised difficulties they had in securing partners for the A-Class project.

To introduce the W176, Mercedes have released this interesting ad, featuring Jessica Stam, who, I am told, is no relation to Jaap, the Dutch centre-half. Apparently she is Canadian, in fact. She appears to have become lost in an industrial estate on a Sunday, but fortunately she is able to scoot under a garage door and hug an A-Class for warmth.

Car Magazine currently has more information than appears on the MB site, whereas Autocar whets our appetite for a 2013 debut of the AMG version of the new A Class, featuring four wheel drive and 320bhp of fun.

Lewis and Jenson Shoot Out

No matter how successful you are, if you are engaged in motorsport, the sometimes harsh reality is that you need sponsors to fund your activities. And the more successful you are, the more money you need, and with that come bigger, more demanding sponsors. Sponsors who want some kind of tangible return on their considerable investment.

Sometimes the sponsors requests are difficult.

Sometimes they are easy.

And sometimes they sound easy…

Vodafone asked Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to come along for a photoshoot.

What they didn’t tell them was, well… you’ll just have to watch: