Mercedes-Benz Compact Sports Tourer Vision B Concept

"Vision B", the vision for a "Compact Sports Tourer", was presented at the 2004 Paris Motor Show alongside "Vision R", the "Grand Sports Tourer". This was appropriate since there were close affinities between the two vehicles, Vision B being a new interpretation of the themes first introduced in the Grand Sports Tourer. The spacious interior of Vision B catered for family and leisure use and was combined with the prestige factor of a sedan, the comfort of a tourer and the dynamism of a sports car.

While the external dimensions corresponded to those of a modern compact car, with a length of 4.27 meters and a width of 1.78 meters, on the inside Vision B offered space and comfort on a par with larger sedans or station wagons. This was down to an ingenious concept: the patented sandwich principle. The space-saving positioning of the engine, which sat partly in front of and partly underneath the passenger cell, meant that the passenger and load compartments were able to occupy almost 70 percent of the vehicle's total length.

Vision R and Vision B shared a common design language. The front end of both cars was defined by a radiator grille with three horizontal slats and integral Mercedes star, with headlamps which were located well to the outside and emphasized the sense of width. In the case of Vision B, the large headlamps echoed the bumper contouring, thus integrating all the various parts of the front end into a stylistic whole.

Another styling feature common to both sports tourer concept vehicles was the styling of the hood. Its shape was somewhat raised, thereby standing out from the fenders and reinforcing the powerful front-end stance. Muscular "shoulders" supported a rounded roof line which rose slightly towards the rear, stressing the wedge shape and thus the dynamic and powerful nature of the sports tourers. The unmistakable overall effect was one of strength, confidence and readiness to perform.

Inside Vision B, glass was used as an important styling feature, contributing to an attractive, upbeat atmosphere. As well as creating a visual link between the exterior and the interior, it produced a light and airy ambience which was inviting and at the same time added to the agreeable impression of spaciousness.

In keeping with the car’s youthful, sporty character, the dashboard, seats and doors of the "Vision B" Compact Sports Tourer were trimmed with a new, high-tech fabric whose airy lightness was reminiscent of high-quality sportswear. Polished aluminum meanwhile was used for the trim around the air outlets over the center console, for the control console of the COMAND and automatic climate control systems and for the instrument cluster backplate.

Vision B's state-of-the-art diesel engine was a passport to dynamic driving enjoyment. The newly developed four-cylinder unit delivered maximum power of 103 kW (140 hp) and with 300 Newton meters of torque available from just 1600 rpm offered lively mid-range acceleration. A further innovation was the Mercedes-Benz AUTOTRONIC continuously variable automatic transmission, which made maximum power available more quickly than a conventional automatic transmission. Like a modern sports car transmission, AUTOTRONIC can be shifted using steering-wheel gearshift buttons. Fuel consumption was less than six liters per 100 km.

Source: Mercedes-Benz press

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz Compact Sports Tourer Vision B Concept