Mike Stevens | Mar 14, 2011

The current generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class, launched in 2005, is soon to be replaced by an all-new model. While our spy photos show that development is nearing completion, there are few confirmed details available on the small car's architecture.

The new B-Class is expected to be the first Mercedes to benefit from the technology partnership between the German carmaker's parent Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance.

Powertrains for the new model are expected to come from Renault, including turbocharged 1.2, 1.4 and 1.8 litre petrol engines. A Renault-sourced 1.6 litre and a Mercedes 2.2 litre engine are expected to hold up the diesel end.

Speaking with press at the Paris Auto Show last month, Mercedes' boss of development for the A and B-Class cars, Jorg Prigl said that the new cars will be built on a new advanced Mercedes-Benz Front-drive Architecture (MFA).

“We will start with the B-class and the MFA platform will contain an IP (intellectual property) solution that will allow us to produce both a direct, high-roof, high seating position replacement for the B-class,” Prigl said.

Prigl said that the architecture is so versatile that it will allow for the installation of a battery pack, a fuel cell stack, hydrogen tanks and compressed natural gas (think LPG) tanks.

“It will allow us to build either an internal combustion or electrically driven vehicle, as well as a number of body styles,” he said.

Demonstrating the platform's versatility, Mercedes will reportedly also offer a sedan version of the B-Class, dubbed by insiders as the 'baby CLS'.

Speculation of a sedan version of the B-Class is not new, however a report this week by British magazine Auto Express suggests a launch for the 'BLS' sometime in 2014.

As for the styling of the regular B-Class hatch, our rendering (bottom of article) draws from earlier spy photos, along with styling elements from the German carmaker's newest models.

All will be confirmed, of course, when the new B-Class is launched next year.

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