ATLANTA — The about-to-launch Mercedes-Benz A-class sedan is about to get an A-class introduction to America.
Mercedes’ newest model and hopeful millennial magnet will be the star of the automaker’s Super Bowl commercial.
The game is set for Feb. 3 at — appropriately enough — Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, also the home of the German automaker’s U.S. headquarters.
The A class will have to share the 60-second spotlight. Atlanta-based rapper and Grammy Award winner Ludacris will make a guest appearance in the commercial. “Luda,” as he’s called, is a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador.
The Super Bowl and Ludacris tie-up makes sense for the A class, which starts at $33,495, including shipping, and goes on sale at U.S. dealers next month.
The tech-loaded subcompact is Mercedes-Benz’s new “gateway” vehicle — designed to draw the next generation of customers to the luxury brand.
Mercedes has primed the A class to lure millennials, consumers roughly ages 22 to 37. The demographic accounted for all new-vehicle sales growth in the North American auto industry during the first quarter of 2018, according to consumer credit reporting agency Experian.
Despite its relatively low starting price — the average selling price of a new car in the United States is $35,377 — the A-class sedan is highly optioned.
The A class debuts a next-generation infotainment system that will migrate across Mercedes’ model line. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX, is a user interface that learns routines and preferences of the driver. MBUX can recognize patterns and predict navigation routes and radio stations based on time of day.
The A class will also offer a suite of driving assistance technologies, including the ability to drive semi-autonomously in certain conditions.
Camera and radar systems allow the sedan to monitor traffic more than 1,500 feet ahead. The A class also uses map and navigation data to predictively adjust the speed when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts.
The interior comes standard with two 7-inch displays, which can be upgraded to 10.25-inch screens.
The A class nudged out the CLA, which starts at $34,095, as Mercedes’ least expensive vehicle.