Sim­ply el­e­gant

The new, im­proved Mercedes C-class

Business First - - FRONT PAGE -

The 2014 C-Class sets new bench­marks in safety, ef­fi­ciency, com­fort and well­be­ing. Just eight months af­ter the launch of the new S Class, the new C-Class is the very first car in its seg­ment world­wide to come to mar­ket with high-tech fea­tures from the lux­ury class, in­clud­ing a chas­sis with air sus­pen­sion (AIR­MATIC) and the Stop & Go Pi­lot for par­tially au­ton­o­mous driv­ing.

“With the brand-new C-Class, we are con­tin­u­ing to ac­cel­er­ate our rate of in­no­va­tion,” says Dr Di­eter Zetsche, chair­man of the Board of Man­age­ment of Daim­ler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “For in­stance, it’s the only car in its seg­ment to en­able par­tially au­ton­o­mous driv­ing. The in­tel­li­gent ap­pli­ca­tion of light­weight ma­te­ri­als is also ground­break­ing. This makes the new model up to 100 kilo­grams lighter than its pre­de­ces­sor and there­fore also the most ag­ile and ef­fi­cient C-Class ever.”

To­gether with best-in-class aero­dy­nam­ics (cd 0.24) and new, fuel-ef­fi­cient en­gines, the new C-Class de­liv­ers on ef­fi­ciency. “The new model con­sumes up to 20 per­cent less fuel than its pre­de­ces­sor,” says Prof Dr Thomas We­ber, Mem­ber of the Board of Man­age­ment of Daim­ler AG and re­spon­si­ble for Group Re­search and Mercedes-Benz Car De­vel­op­ment.

“And we will in­crease its ef­fi­ciency even fur­ther. We will soon of­fer two model vari­ants that emit just 99 and 98 grams of CO2 – ap­pear­ing ini­tially in Europe. In ad­di­tion to that, we also have a hy­brid ver­sion with plug-in tech­nol­ogy in the pipe­line.”

The cross­over from the lux­ury S-Class is wel­come. It means a raft of in­tel­li­gent as­sis­tance sys­tems will be brought to­gether un­der the head­ing ‘Mercedes-Benz In­tel­li­gent Drive’ to of­fer the very high­est lev­els of safety.

The new C-Class joins the lat­est gen­er­a­tions of the E and S-Class to cre­ate the youngest and most wide-rang­ing sa­loon line-up of any au­tomaker world­wide.

Sim­ply el­e­gant

The new C-Class also sets ac­cents with its clear and emo­tional de­sign lan­guage. The ex­te­rior de­sign har­monises per­fectly with the mod­ern in­te­rior.

“Like the S and E-Class, the C-Class, too, con­veys that ‘wel­come home feel­ing’ that is so typ­i­cal of Mercedes-Benz – but with a very specif­i­cally C- Class feel about it,”

says Ola Käl­le­nius, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Sales & Mar­ket­ing Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The new C-Class rounds off our sa­loon line-up. And it’s a line-up that– each in its own dis­tinc­tive way – em­bod­ies the very high­est level of mod­ern lux­ury,” continues Käl­le­nius.

The high­lights

The new C-Class can brake at up to 200km/h to avoid a col­li­sion, use just 3.9L/100km of fuel, and dis­play Google Street View.

The body achieves an aero­dy­namic score of 0.24 Cd, and is con­structed of around 50 per cent alu­minium, com­pared with 10 per­cent for per­vi­ous mod­els.

Fuel con­sump­tion re­duc­tions of 20 per cent seem im­pres­sive, es­pe­cially if there is no loss of per­for­mance. The new model fea­tures a seven-speed torque con­verter au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, and a six-speed man­ual on se­lect mod­els.

En­gines will in­clude a C180 with a 1.6-litre tur­bocharged di­rect in­jec­tion four-cylin­der petrol de­liv­er­ing 115kW of power, 250Nm of torque, and 8.2 sec­ond 0-100km/h and 5.0L/100km claims.

A C200 with 2.0-litre turbo di­rect in­jec­tion four-cylin­der petrol makes 135kW, 300Nm, and posts 7.5 sec­ond 0-100km/h and 5.3L/100km claims.

The C220 Bluetec fea­tures a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylin­der with 125kW, 400Nm, and 8.1 sec­ond 0-100km/h and 4.1L/100km claims.

An en­try-level 1.6-litre diesel with ei­ther 85-100kW and 280-320Nm of torque depend­ing on the state of tune is also avail­able.

For those who like a hy­brid, the C300 Bluetec Hy­brid uses pro­vides 150kW and a claimed 3.9L/100km.

We won’t go through all the en­gine vari­ants here, but you get the idea. Mean­while, rear-wheel drive re­mains stan­dard. This will be the first C-Class avail­able in all-wheel drive for right­hand-drive mar­kets, pav­ing the way for a fu­ture C63 AMG 4MATIC.

The C-Class now fea­tures the op­tional Air­matic sus­pen­sion last seen in the lux­ury mod­els. The tech­nol­ogy is im­pres­sive. Distronic Plus adap­tive cruise con­trol and En­hanced Lane Keep As­sist keeps the C-Class at a safe dis­tance from the car in front when cruis­ing and au­tonomously steer the C-Class to fol­low cars in front in ad­di­tion to lane mark­ing.

BAS Plus re­vers­ing cross-traf­fic alert will au­to­mat­i­cally ap­ply ex­tra brake pres­sure to avoid rear collisions.

Other fea­tures in­clude Ac­tive Park­ing As­sist, a 360° cam­era, Traf­fic Sign As­sist with Wrong-Way Alert, and Adap­tive High­beam As­sist Plus that blocks out a strand of high­beam if on­com­ing cars are de­tected.

The new C-Class is not avail­able un­til mid-year in Aus­tralia, so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see what op­tions are avail­able. How­ever ex­pect the safety fea­tures to be in­cluded. If lucky, we’ll see three lines in Aus­tralia: Avant­garde, Exclusive and AMG Line.

With the ex­tra bit of lux­ury, the C-Class should main­tain its dom­i­nance in this class of car.

Mercedes-Benz at the North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Au­toshow 2014 in Detroit: Dr. Di­eter Zetsche, Chair­man of the Board of Man­age­ment of Daim­ler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Pro­fes­sor Dr. Thomas We­ber, Mem­ber of the Board of Daim­ler AG, re­spon­si­ble...

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