Overnight Mercedes-Benz has unveiled their new C-Class and it’s a big deal.
In the last decade, the C-Class was the highest-volume Mercedes-Benz model? Since the introduction of the still current generation in 2014, over 2.5 million Saloon and Estate models have been sold. All in all, over 10.5 million Mercedes-Benz cars in this category have been delivered to customers since 1982.
both the front and rear passengers benefit from the moderately increased exterior dimensions of the new model generation? Elbow-room has been increased by 22 mm in the front and 15 mm in the rear over the previous model. Headroom in the rear has increased by 13 mm (Estate: 11 mm). Thanks to up to 35 mm more kneeroom in the rear, journeys are even more pleasant for passengers in the rear.
The C-Class has taken another major step forward with respect to digitisation and high quality? The interior now has highlights such as the display and operating concept adopted from the new S-Class, with a sporty interpretation. This is accentuated by another design feature: the dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver.
Domestic equipment and household appliances can be controlled using the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant of MBUX? Thanks to the Smart Home function, they can be networked with the vehicle and controlled remotely.
The light in each DIGITAL LIGHT headlamp is refracted and directed by means of 1.3 million micro-mirrors? The resolution is therefore more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle. DIGITAL LIGHT with projection function is available as an option. This system can make driving safer by projecting guide lines, symbols and animations onto the road.
The turning circle is reduced by over 40 centimetres to under eleven metres with rear-axle steering? With this optional feature, the steering angle at the rear axle is 2.5 degrees.
The new C-Class already looks to be in motion at a standstill with its dynamic proportions, thanks to the combination of short front overhang, long wheelbase and rear overhang. The sporty bonnet with power domes accentuates this urge of forward motion. The windscreen and passenger cell have been moved to the rear for these classic proportions known in the industry as “cab-backward design”. The preceding model was already a great step forward in terms of a high-value appeal in the interior, and the new C-Class goes even further with respect to modern luxury. The interior adopts highlights from the new S-Class, adding a sporty touch.
When viewed from the side, elaborately sculptured surfaces create unique light effects. Conversely, the designers have reduced lines to a minimum, which accentuates the so-called catwalk line or shoulder line even more. In the Estate model, the progressive roof line in combination with the inclined rear window adds a sporty touch without functional compromises. Other features producing the sporty, superior appearance include the wide track and the flush 17- to 19-inch wheels in modern designs.
The dashboard is divided into an upper and a lower section: into a wing-like section with new, flattened round vents reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles, and into an opulent expanse of trim. The latter flows from the centre console to the dashboard without interruption. Driver-focus adds to the sportiness: the dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver by six degrees.
The driver area features a high-resolution LCD screen. It is free-standing, and appears to float in front of the wing profile and the expanse of trim. This sets the driver display apart from traditional cockpits with classic round dials. Customers have a choice between a 10.25-inch (26.0 cm) or a 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) version.
Like the new S-Class, the new C-Class is equipped with the second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). The vehicle interior becomes even more digital and intelligent, as both the hardware and software have made great strides: Brilliant images on the LCD screens make it easy to control vehicle and comfort functions.
The voice assistant “Hey Mercedes” becomes more interactive and capable of learning by activating online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword “Hey Mercedes”. These include taking a telephone call. “Hey Mercedes” also explains vehicle functions, and, for example, can help when asked how to connect a smartphone by Bluetooth or where the first-aid kit can be found. “Hey Mercedes” is also able to recognise the vehicle occupants by their voices.
Powertrain: systematic electrification of the modern four-cylinder engines
Thanks to systematic electrification and intelligent downsizing, the new C-Class sets new standards in efficiency. The engine range has only four-cylinder units from the current modular FAME (Family of Modular Engines) Mercedes-Benz engine family. Accordingly, the engine range plays a major role in the flexibility of the international production network, with needs-based electrification.
In addition to turbocharging, both the diesel and the petrol engines now have an integrated starter-generator (ISG) for intelligent assistance at low engine speeds as a mild hybrid of the second generation. This ensures outstanding power delivery. The ISG uses a 48 volt on-board electrical system that ensures functions such as gliding, boosting or energy recovery, and makes significant fuel savings possible. The engines also start very rapidly and comfortably as a result, so that the start/stop function is almost as imperceptible to the driver as the transition from gliding with the engine switched off to strong acceleration under engine power. When idling, the intelligent interaction between the ISG and the combustion engine ensures outstandingly smooth running.
First local arrivals of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class are expected to begin during the fourth quarter of this year. More information about the New Zealand line-up including pricing and specification will be available closer to that time.