Mercedes Benz unveils family car with ‘bubblegum’ grip

March 6, 2012
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The wheel of a Mercedes-Benz S-class/AFP
GENEVA, Mar 6 – Mercedes-Benz unveiled at the motor show here a five-door hatchback for European sale in September, intended to ramp up its A-series from a family hatch-back to a car with sporty flair.

Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Diamler AG, said late on Monday that he expected the car to go on sale in September and that it would be made first in Germany, then Hungary and later in China.

Speaking at an unveiling of the car on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, he said the car was powered in part by engineering by British sports car MG and it was 18 centimetres (7 inches ) closer to the road than its predecessor.

“This car will stick to the street like bubblegum,” said Zetsche introducing the car to journalists on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show which runs to 18 March.

Zetsche said that 25,000 cars had been delivered and 100,000 had been ordered in advance and were being built, and that eventual global production was expected to amount to 4.0 million vehicles.

The car, he said, offered safety at a premium and with attractive looks, and within reach of lower budgets.

The new model is the third-generation of the Mercedes A-class.

Car analysts said the car, which is not yet planned for the US market, would compete against the new Audi A3, the BMW 1-series, the Volvo V40 and the perennial Volkswagen Golf.

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