Monday, June 6, 2011

Is Mercedes-Benz Planning a BMW Mega City Rival?

Is Mercedes-Benz Planning a BMW Mega City Rival?
While BMW works on developing its eco-friendly Mega City urban vehicle, it seems Mercedes-Benz may be working on a competitor. Reports indicate the Stuttgart-based automaker may be working on a compact EV offering of its own to counter the electro-Bimmer.

According to Autocar, Mercedes is working on a "Project 50," a small, electric vehicle designed for commuters who drive primarily in large cities. The magazine reports the car will have similar dimensions to the original A-class subcompact. When it first debuted in 1997, the A measured a stubby 142 inches in length, but today's version has grown to 151 inches.

The car won't likely share the A-class platform, but could utilize a new platform that may eventually appear in a number of Smart models, including a revised ForFour. There's a good chance that the project could leverage the resources of Renault, as the two automakers are growing ever closer to signing a formal agreement to share technologies, including both electric drivetrains and small-car platforms.

Project 50 is likely still a ways away from reality. BMW's MegaCity isn't expected to launch until 2014 at the earliest, and we'd expect Mercedes' competitor to launch in a similar time frame.

Source: Autocar