WITH THE NEXT GENERATION of Mercedes-Benz A and B-Class small cars in the planning stages, there is mounting speculation that the next generation of small cars to wear the three-pointed star may be spawned from an unlikely alliance.
German publication Auto Motor und Sport, believes that Daimler could make use of a Toyota platform for the next generation A and B Class.
As the only front-wheel-drives in Mercedes-Benz? line up, pairing with another manufacturer would make economic sense, saving on the considerable development costs for the platform.
For Toyota Europe, adding another product to its production schedule would also be welcome: its factories are currently running under production, with an additional 2.3 million vehicles' capacity available.
It is not the only speculation about the new A and B Class however; one option being aired would see a modified version of the rear-wheel-drive C class platform swung into duty.
But the loudest whispers are tipping a 'trimmed-down' version of Toyota?s MC platform as the front-runner. Already it has shown its relative flexibility as an automotive platform underpinning the Toyota Camry, RAV 4 and Kluger as well as forming the basis for the premium Lexus ES and RX range.
Engines and transmissions, of course, are likely to be sourced from within the Daimler empire.
Also reportedly under consideration is an extension of the small car range beyond the current hatchback offerings.
Once again, the flexible MC platform would allow the A and B class vehicles to incorporate a range of body styles, tipped to include a small SUV, a convertible and possibly a CLS-style four-door coupe.
(If you listen carefully, you may be able to detect the unmistakable sound of hell freezing over.)