The Mercedes-Benz B-Class
(codename W245) is a small family car
introduced by German automaker Mercedes-Benz
in March 2005. It is essentially an enlarged A-Class
keeping the same engine
and suspension system
. Like the A-Class, and unlike any other vehicle Mercedes builds or has built, the B-Class is a front wheel drive
Mercedes-Benz describes this vehicle as a Compact Sports Tourer
instead of hatchback
or multi-purpose vehicle
, like its R-Class
model, which is called a Grand Sports Tourer
It was released in Europe in the late spring of 2005 and in Canada in the autumn of 2005. Plans to import the car to the US through Mexico were put on hold due to a strong euro, but it is likely that a new version of the car will come to the US in 2012.
The B-class is what’s known as a two-box
design: one box for the drivetrain and another the passenger and luggage compartments. The B-Class gains much of its comparatively large interior volume through its height, a configuration that makes the most of the vehicle’s footprint.
Having evolved from the even smaller A-Class, a car that was originally intended to have a battery-powered version that would meet California’s since-rescinded zero-emissions mandate. The sandwich floor concept—the structure of the car under the floor where the batteries were supposed to go—was retained in the B-Class.
Sandwich floor concept
<!-- Image with unknown copyright status removed: thumb|213px|Patented Sandwich floor concept.
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