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Preview: 2011 Mercedes-Benz B-ClassEnlarge Photo
The only model confirmed for production, however, is the MPV model pictured in this artist’s rendition. Compiled using information from a source close to the project, the rendering shows designers will be keeping the shape of the current version but add a similar grille and front fascia to the design used on the C-Class.
Previous claims that engineers might use the RWD C-Class platform for the new model were told to be false by Mercedes’ U.S. Chief Ernst Lieb, who said such a move would make it too expensive and would cost it interior space as well. Instead, Mercedes could form a three-way partnership with BMW and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen to develop a new platform and powertrain to help spread investment. Expect to see a range of small displacement turbo engines and new hybrid variants. There's also a rumor going that the B-Class may eventually debut Mercedes' fuel-cell technology.