When accelerating out of tight bends, demanding high engine power and committed cornering, it quickly becomes clear, despite a completely new concept, the A-Class remains a typical front-wheel drive representative.
Airfield slalom with the A250 Sport
As part of the international presentation of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, there was also the opportunity to put the spurs on the currently sportiest A-Class. For this purpose, an even clearer circuit with cones was set up on a clear airfield. What was quite suitable for lifestyle bloggers to evoke the LeMans basic mood, found little recognition with me at first. There had been with me under "Performance test drives on closed roads”Probably made false ideas wide.
My first stint was overshadowed by the first disillusionment about the circumstances. Driving in a queue of four behind an instructor, I spent more time guessing my ancestor's pointless braking points than experiencing the A4 Sport. Before I could drown my frustration at the temporarily set up bar, came Robert approached me and asked for a brisk lap in my passenger seat - he would have already clarified this with the team.
For this round in the dark we were able to deactivate the rigid ESP and occupy the vehicle directly behind the instructor.
Without this round, this post would probably not have been made - because only now could I concentrate on the real braking points and cornering talents of the 211HP A250 Sport. The slalom course had an entertaining left / right combination based on the TopGear track section “Hammerhead” at the end of the back straight, but was otherwise completely unspectacular. Added to this is the fact that the tires on the front axle of the vehicles were simply at the end after many laps with heavy understeer and overpowering right-hand orientation.
And yet one thing can be clearly seen:
The chassis of the A-Class is well done and offers more than enough reserves for upcoming and sportier versions of the new A-Class.
Among other things, I was able to find out in a personal conversation that a speed of 68+ km / h can be expected in the 18m slalom - which is actually a surprise (for me). According to Daimler, the new A-Class with its complex multi-link rear axle offers a level of stability on the rear axle that is comparable to that of particularly sporty vehicles. Keyword: slip angle. And de facto: the rear axle follows the front axle as faithfully as a newly in love husband does to his confidante. Now you could get the impression that the A-Class is emphatically weak on the front axle and therefore pushes over driven front wheels early and massively understeers.
If one compares this subjective driving feeling with the objective values and assumes that at least 68 km / h can be achieved in the 18m slalom, the result is a simple picture: The A-Class has a rear axle that is far too good im - in interaction with the front-wheel drive principle.
That in turn prepares enormous anticipation for an A45 AMG - all-wheel drive version - with hopefully more rear-heavy drive torque distribution. There is still something going on;).
In addition to the stable rear axle, the active and darned awakened front axle with electric power steering and its very, very responsive steering response is a lot of fun.
A front-wheel drive Mercedes has never been so much fun to drive - that's for sure. Whether the A250 AMG is good for GTI fright and how the currently most potent A-Class will fare against the BMW 1 series, I don't dare to say in advance. To do this, I would have to be able to drive all 3 models promptly - if someone can arrange that? 😉