The New 2012 Mercedes B-Class will be launched at this year’s Frankfurt motor show on 13 September, in the meantime the company has released a few images of the new model’s interior, which is likely to become its key selling point when it arrives in European dealerships in November 2011.
Mercedes describe the new B-Class as taking quality to a whole new level and whilst 7-Series and A8 owners are unlikely to be impressed, the true meaning behind Mercedes’ statement is the way they’ve been able to raise the standard of materials, quality and image for a car in its class.
Many of the details or elements have previously been the sole preserve of higher-end Mercedes models, such as the dashboard which can be covered with stitched ARTICO man-made leather.
The first thing that strikes you when looking at the vehicle’s interior is the large, three-dimensional decorative element spanning the entire dashboard, which is available in four variants covering a broad spectrum including modern, sporty and classic.
Delve a little deeper into Mercedes press release and you might be overwhelmed by the language of spiritual feng-shui – the interior of the B-Class reflects the latest findings in the field of perceptual psychology made by Daimler AG’s Customer Research Center (CRC). The team at CRC discovered in tests that “..Cars stimulate the brain’s reward centre” and that the main dimension people consider are ‘progressive/conservative’, ‘high-quality/low-quality’ and ‘luxurious/utilitarian’ according to the research centre’s head, Dr Götz Renner.
What this means in practice is that the team designing the B-Class designed the car’s interior to blend old and new materials, provide the maximum choices for customers to personalise their car and use different textures to enhance the interior’s sensual appeal.
If that already sounds a little weird then you’ll not be surprised to hear that the team went so far as to investigate how the various regions of the brain respond to different design elements. “Cars stimulate the brain’s reward centre just as strongly as chocolate or sex”, summarises Dr. Renner.
Mercedes recognise that the current B-Class has a rather staid image and they’ve sought to add some spice and emotion to its replacement.
The basic attributes include ergonomics, safety and practicality. “These attributes are assumed by the customer”, stresses Dr. Renner. “If they are lacking or requirements are not sufficiently met, the customer is highly dissatisfied.”
The excitement attributes are different. They promote satisfaction, surprise the customer and are heavily emotionally loaded. “The potential for excitement can be in the design, technological innovations or neat individual solutions”
We’ll find out just how effective these excitement attributes are when the new B-Class is revealed at Frankfurt.