Concerns about emissions and economy won’t be going away anytime soon, and small cars are becoming the new battleground for luxury brands. Mercedes-Benz is set to refresh its compact assault with new A and B-Class models; the latter is set to debut first at this year’s Frankfurt show, one year ahead of the new A. Tasked with luring younger buyers, the B will be armed with gadgets from segments above.

The redesigned B-Class will be available with safety and entertainment gadgets, such as a radar-controlled collision prevention system and in-car Internet, when it goes on sale this year, said Hans Engel, chief engineer for the B-Class. “They will have lots of technology that wasn’t available in this segment before,” he said, adding that the new B will use engines from the C-Class range, which is an upgrade from today’s B engines.

Besides that, Mercedes hopes to win over young families with sportier styling and a more luxurious interior, said Anders Sundt Jensen, head of brand communication at Mercedes. But don’t expect a big change in shape, since the new car is also meant to retain current drivers of the A and B-Class with its MPV proportions and elevated seating position.

Compared to the A1/A3 and 1-er, Merc small car buyers are older, and the company wants to lower the average age. The current W204 C-Class is proof that they can pull it off. Let’s now see if this high-tech gadget strategy coupled with more dynamic styling works for the B.