Why is it that so many automakers keep their greener cars out of North-America? Is it that their more efficient models tend to run on diesel, an issue in America both because of strict clean-air requirements and preconceived notions about diesel as a dirty, noisy alternative to gasoline? Or is it simply because gasoline is so much more expensive in Europe than it is in America? Whatever the reason, Mercedes-Benz, which is already working to produce a hybrid that makes use of a lithium-ion battery, has "just presented to Europe its new A-class three- and five-door hatchbacks, with revised front- and rear-end styling and a sharper, more upscale interior." But alas, like so many other efficient vehicles, this one will not be for sale in America.
Too bad, because the new A-class will sport some impressive features."From a fuel-efficiency standpoint, the big news is the arrival of the A160 CDI BlueEfficiency model," which will feature "an 81-horsepower direct-injection diesel engine and a manual transmission" and will consume roughly 52 miles per gallon.
Not only is the A-class fuel efficient, it is also space efficient. "Although it's about two-feet shorter overall than a Volkswagen Rabbit, the A-class (thanks mostly to its tall roof), boasts the passenger space of a mid-size sedan, and five-door models offer rear-seat riders limousine-like legroom."
It's a shame automakers haven't caught on to the notion that Americans are becoming increasingly interested in the idea of smaller, lighter, more efficient cars. The popularity of the Yaris, Mini-Cooper and Smart ForTwo ought to be enough to make the trend clear. And when it comes to diesel, Americans are warming up to that idea, too.
See Also: ::Toyota iQ: Less is More for Small Urban Car, ::Is Clean Diesel the Way to Go?, ::Diesel-Hybrid Pickup Coming to U.S., ::Diesel's Role in the New Energy Bill, ::Honda Bringing 62.8 MPG Diesel to the US by 2010, and ::Small Japanese Cars Are Coming to North-America, Again