The new, improved Mercedes C-class
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.
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 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...