Mercedes-Benz is plotting a supermini-sized rival for the Mini and Audi A1, CAR Online can reveal.
Referred to internally as ‘X-class’ for now, the 4m-long crossover would be developed with Renault-Nissan for a 2018 launch.
The need for a baby Benz is acute: Mercedes has nothing in the £12,000 to £19,000 bracket between Smart and A-class, a niche BMW will target with the next-generation Mini and front-wheel drive BMW 1-series. The fix is the X-class, pooled with the next-generation Renault and Nissan superminis.
The five-year timeframe should give Mercedes the opportunity to influence the architecture from the outset, in a bid to ensure the right levels of perceived quality, reliability, content and style. Benz sources vow that the X-class must have a bespoke exterior, cabin and gadgets.
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