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I’ve always been a fan of the Mercedes GP PETRONAS Formula One Team, I attended the demo run back in March 2013 to catch the SLS AMG GT3 car and the 2013 Mercedes AMG PETRONAS race car, caught Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at KLCC, and went to the 2013 Formula 1 race at Sepang as well.

You can imagine how much I anticipated the launch of the all new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, as a fan, all those teasers videos only exacerbated the excruciating wait.

what a handsome creature, the A200 of course
what a handsome creature, the A200 of course

Mercedes-Benz has always been synonymous with success and achievement. While there is a lot yet that I have to achieve to consider myself successful in my career and as a person, I would love to own a Mercedes when I get there. The A-Class would be the perfect vehicle at that point. Don’t I look pretty decent next to the car in the picture above? *bow*

In terms of styling, features, and performance, it’s really hard to find anything that comes close to what is offered here. I’m a bit of a car enthusiast myself so this post will talk about the car in detail from the impression that I get after attending the launch event on the 27th of June at Renoma Cafe.

Mercedes Benz A200 and A250 steering wheel
I can certainly get used to be behind this everyday

At first glance, the A 200 and A 250 exude design and dynamism. The exterior is a blend of sporty curves punctuated by bold styling, and the interior is pure class, we’ll get into that a little later.

The A Class comes in two versions and both shares the same five-seater, 2-box design. The rear seats fit for three adults, and the boot volume is a surprisingly large 341 litres. As with most hatch, folding down the rear seats give you additional boot volume, and in the case of the A Class, you get all the way to 1157 litres.

To put things into perspective, my fairly large kitchen fridge is only about 1/3 of that storage capacity.

A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY (left), A 250 Sport (right)
Mercedes-Benz A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY (left), A 250 Sport (right)

It is a very beautiful car, lets talk about the exterior.

The headlights with the configuration function within them are key elements of the design concept, with the LEDs behind headlamp cover glass arranged in such a way to create a “flare effect” for daytime driving lights and indicators.

At the rear, the light functions are provided by fibre-optic cables and LED modules as well, with design that emphasizes  the width with the muscular shoulders towards the back.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia VP for Sales and Marketing - Mr. Kai Schlickum
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia VP for Sales and Marketing – Mr. Kai Schlickum &
CEO Roland S. Folger with the A200 BlueEFFICIENCY

Both versions spot 18″ alloy wheels, the A 200 has a black radiator grille featuring two louvres with a central star, while the A 250 comes with the striking diamond radiator grille.

In any angle, the A-Class looks absolutely stunning, and with a drag coefficient of only 0.28, they are sleek not just for the eyes, but through the air as well.

the new Mercedes A-Class - A 250 Sport and A A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY
the new Mercedes A-Class – A 250 Sport and A A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY

Under the hood, the A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY runs the 1.6L turbocharged in-line 4 that pumps out 156 HP at 5300 rpm with 250 Nm of torque starting from 1250 to 4000 rpm. That is some impressive number for a 1.6L engine, which gets you a combined fuel consumption of only 5.4-5.7 l/100km while being able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in a respectable 8.3s. Top speed is 224 km/h.

Meanwhile, the A 250 Sport is equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged engine with 211 HP at 5500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1200 to 4000 rpm. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 6.4 l/100km and the car is capable of 6.6s in the century run with top speed of 240 km/h.

The A-Class uses slightly different versions of 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission on the BlueEFFICIENCY and Sport model, and yes, they have seven speeds.

diamond grille, 18" alloy wheel, big trunk space
diamond grille, 18″ alloy wheel, big trunk space

If the look and performance of the car hasn’t impressed you, take a look inside. Both cockpits were beautifully designed, with sporty instrument cluster, TFT color display, 6-disc CD changer, Bluetooth connectivity and 6-speaker system with a total output of 4×25 watts.

Both front seats are electrically adjustable with memory functions, and the multi-function steering wheel comes with gear shift paddles too. The A 250 distinct itself further with carbon-fibre look and various red trims inspired from the AMG bodystyling.

the interior of the A250 Sport
the interior of the A250 Sport

Other safety measures incorporated are adaptive high beam assist (A 250 only), attention assist, brake hold function, hill-start assist, active parking assist (you will love this!), reverse camera, and PRE-SAFE.

Mercedes-Benz has always been associated with symbol of success and achievement in life, it is definitely a car worth a serious consideration for anyone who is looking for their next ride.

The Mercedes-Benz A 200 is priced at RM 198,888 on the road, while the A 250 at RM 238,888. With a downpayment of RM 39,777.60, monthly instalment will be at RM 2,333 for sixty month (5 years).

note: There’s a RM 50,000 deferred payment –

End of the Agreement Options:
1. Pay off the deferred amount and take full ownership of the vehicle.
2. Extend finance by re-financing the deferred amount.
3. Trade in your vehicle for a new Mercedes-Benz.

Click here for more details.

As Mr. Kai Schlickum said, there is no direct competition for the A-Class. I agree.

Check out more details at Mercedes-Benz’s website.

1996 Dodge Stealth RT/TT

In late 2001 to 2003, I had the privilege of owning one of the finest Japanese sports cars produced in the nineties. The Dodge Stealth RT/TT is just a rebranded version of the more widely known Mitsubishi 3000 GT VR4, or as it is called in some other countries, the GTO twin turbo version.

Some quick specs:

  • Engine: 6G72 3.0 DOHC twin turbo
  • Compression: 8.0 to 1
  • Drive train: AWD with rear LSD
  • Turbo Boost: 1.0 bar
  • Power: 320 HP @ 6000 rpm
  • Torque: 315 lb/ft @ 2500 rpm
  • Transmission: 6 speed Getrag close ratio
  • Tyres: 245/40 ZR 18
  • 0-100 km/h: 5.5s
  • 1/4 mile: 13.6s

1996 Dodge Stealth RT/TT

The Stealth I had was basically completely stock, down to the original air filter and the quad-exhaust. I had intended to do a stage one upgrade to get a few extra horses, but due to unforseen circumstances, the plan went up the air and I decided to come back to Malaysia instead. An open pod K&N filter, after market exhaust, and a boost controller will easily push the power output to the 360+ level.

1996 Dodge Stealth RT/TT

Many had thought that the Stealth/GTO/3000GT is a sports car, but Mitsubishi had designed a touring car instead. In fact, GTO stands for “Gran Tourismo Omologato”, which basically means Grand Touring class production vehicle. True to it’s spirit, the car is excellent at sustaining high speed travel. I have taken her through long journey, from Cincinnati to Chicago, and to Washington DC metro area. Each way was over 1200 km, and the vehicle takes it gracefully.

1996 Dodge Stealth RT/TT

The interior of the car sports full leather seats for the driver and the shot gun, they are rather spacious and comfortable, while back seats are only fit for kids. The driver seat is also fully powered, you can adjust it’s height, tightness and firmness electronically.

The cockpit displays the speedo meter with 180 mph as the limit. I’ve personally only tested her to around 145 mph before my balls shrunk (don’t ask.) Rev limit stood at 7000 rpm with the ECU rev cut at 7,300 rpm. There’s also the standard water temperature, fuel gauge, oil temperature, batter meter, and boost indicator. Climate control and cruise control comes standard, and it includes a 6 speakers Infinity head unit with 6-CD changer too.

1996 Dodge Stealth RT/TT

Speed when I needed it, comfort for long distance, with an aggresive look that is the pinnacle of the Japanese sports car era in the 90s. It was truely a sweet ride.

Related links:
Stealth 316 – A site devoted to Stealth RT/TT and 3000 GT VR4
Team3s – Stealth and 3000GT mailing list