Currently reading: Mercedes-Benz targets Audi TT with new coupé
New entry-level Mercedes-Benz coupé will replace the three-door A-Class in 2019, with a hot AMG version planned too
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4 mins read
27 April 2015

Mercedes-Benz is hatching plans for a new entry-level coupé as a replacement for the three-door A-Class hatchback, Autocar sources confirm. 

The sporty two-door is one of a series of new compact model proposals based around Mercedes-Benz’s second-generation MFA platform. It has been conceived to take on the Audi TT and BMW 2 Series.

A hot turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder AMG version producing up to 400bhp and featuring standard four-wheel drive is envisaged to crown the new range.

Currently at the drawing board stage, the new 2+2 has become a hot topic for discussion in recent Mercedes-Benz board member meetings. Chairman Dieter Zetsche is said to be among its keener supporters as he sets out to fulfil plans to overtake Audi and BMW in global luxury car sales by the end of the decade.

If a production go-ahead is granted, the price-leading Mercedes-Benz coupé could go on sale as early as 2019. That is just a year after the fourth-generation five-door A-Class hatchback is due to head into showrooms with a widened range of powertrains, including a new plug-in hybrid system for the first time.

Blog - Why Merc's TT rival would make sense

Autocar understands that the new coupé is likely to succeed the three-door A-Class hatchback with an exterior design that draws on elements from the recently introduced Mercedes-AMG GT, including a practical liftback. The proposed designs for the new coupé are for a lower and wider car than today’s three-door A-Class, and the look is described as being “highly emotional”.

To cut costs, the interior architecture is likely to be shared with other new compact Mercedes-Benz models. Inside, the new coupé is being planned to offer a traditional 2+2 layout and a boot with a capacity of about 350 litres.

As well as a coupé variant, Mercedes-Benz is also mulling over a roadster version. This has led to suggestions that it may eventually replace the SLK, although this has been denied by company officials.

As with its Audi TT rival, the new Mercedes-Benz is proposed to use a transversely mounted engine and come 
with the choice of standard front-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive.

The starting point for the coupé is a new front-wheel drive platform developed in a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Described as being more flexible than today’s MFA structure, it is designed to permit greater variation in wheelbase and track widths as well as providing greater scope for the storage of batteries and gas tanks in possible hybrid and fuel cell derivatives.

The new underpinnings are being earmarked for successor models to the existing A, B, CLA and GLA-Class. In addition, elements of it will also be used by the upcoming Infiniti Q30 and the QX30, which was previewed in concept guise at the Geneva show in March.

Details of the new platform remain under wraps, although Mercedes-Benz officials have hinted that it will incorporate a number of weight-saving features, including increased use of hot-formed high-strength steel in the floorpan. 

Power for the new coupé is expected to come from a range of heavily updated four-cylinder petrol and diesel powerplants that are being developed in partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Although it is still early days, the suggestions are that the new coupé could also be offered with the choice of either a petrol-electric or diesel-electric system.

At the top of the new range 
is likely to be an Audi TT RS 
and BMW M2-chasing AMG model running a further powered-up version of the 
A45 AMG’s turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine. Close to 400bhp is tipped. With a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, it should be good for 0-62mph in less than 4.5sec and a top speed limited to 155mph.

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The third generation Audi TT
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As well as the new coupé, Mercedes-Benz has formed plans for a new entry-level saloon to go up against the Audi A3 saloon and upcoming BMW 1 Series saloon. Described as offering greater rear leg room and boot space that the current CLA, the new saloon is set to appear in 2018 as a further addition to the firm’s compact car line-up.

Another new model set to use the new MFA platform is the proposed GLB - an entry-level SUV conceived to go up against the upcoming Audi Q1 and second-generation Mini Countryman. As with the new coupé, it is tentatively scheduled to go on sale in 2019. It will take its styling cues from the G-Class and be much more of an SUV than the current GLA, which is more of a high-riding A-Class hatchback.

By the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz could offer up to eight new compact models, including the A-Class hatchback, A-Class saloon, A-Class coupé, A-Class roadster, B-Class, B-Class 
long wheelbase, CLA-Class, GLA-Class and GLB-Class.

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Comments
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khorram 1 May 2015

Some interesting design

Some interesting design features for a Mercedes but headlights looks too Asian to me!
spqr 29 April 2015

Huh?

As has been pointed out above there is no 3 door A-Class in the current range. There was a 3 door A-Class in the previous range but this is no longer in production and was not replaced by a car from the current A-Class range. So what are we to make of this story? Well it talks about a possible range of cars from 2019 onwards with diesel and petrol engines primarily and that will fill lots of niches. But as we know such plans (if they even exist within Mercedes-Benz) often go awry - anyone remember the Autocar stories on the proposed BMW rear wheel drive 1 Series saloon from a couple of years ago? Apparently it was "essential" to break into the Chinese, Russian and American markets. It did not happen. I suspect that this story will be similar especially as a Supreme Court ruling today will force the UK Government to reduce NO2 emissions as soon as possible. Effectively this will lead to a virtual ban on diesels by 2018 to 2020. Any manufacturer with a solely or predominantly diesel engine line up - VW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz etc had better come up with petrol or hybrids fairly sharpish.
Beastie_Boy 28 April 2015

I think the is a cracking looking concept...

I thought that when I first saw the CLA concept, too. Sadly, something happened between building the concept and the signed off production model because that car looks a bit wrong. Not sure how, it just does...
abkq 1 May 2015

Beastie_Boy wrote:I thought

Beastie_Boy wrote:

I thought that when I first saw the CLA concept, too. Sadly, something happened between building the concept and the signed off production model because that car looks a bit wrong. Not sure how, it just does...

In fact the coupe in this article looks rather good at first glance, but try to imagine what it would look like from other angles (such as 3/4 rear) and you'll realize its probably going to look as bulbous as the CLA. Moreover, concept drawings always have pencil-thin shut lines, but alas we do notice shut lines in the real car and MB is one premium manufacturer which pays very little attention to such details. Shame, MB used to be fanatical about detailing.

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