Thanks to an intelligent lightweight design concept boasting weight savings of up to 100 kilograms, excellent aerodynamics and new, economical engines, the C-Class establishes new benchmarks in its class. A host of new assistance systems offer safety of the highest standard, while a new suspension, optionally air-sprung, provides for exemplary ride and driving comfort as well as nimble and agile handling.
On a visual level, the new C-Class represents a bold departure from its predecessor. Its striking, dynamic design exudes sensuous clarity and arouses emotions. Nature was a source of inspiration for the new Saloon's aesthetically sensuous lines and surfaces, whose harmony and dynamism create an immediate effect. The designers have created minimalist, purist forms for the C-Class, which emphasize its intelligent technology and engineering. The clearly defined surfaces deliberately display a degree of tension, lending them a muscular and sensuous character. Precise lines and sculptural surfaces create lively light and shade effects.
In the side view a long bonnet, a passenger compartment set well back and short overhangs define the C-Class's classic, well-balanced Mercedes-Benz saloon proportions. Large wheels emphasise the rear and communicate a stylishly sporty character.
The new C-Class comes with H7 halogen headlamps as standard. In addition to the standard-fit headlamps, two energy-saving LED variants are available: a static system and a dynamic version with "LED Intelligent Light System". The characteristic night design lends the new C-Class its very own distinctive look in the dark, too. The rear lamp and brake light in the tail lights feature LED technology in all headlamp versions.
The Mercedes-Benz designers have styled the interior on a level, which is rarely encountered even in higher vehicle categories. This applies to the carefully chosen high-class materials and their pleasant touch and feel as well as the precision of the finely crafted details. The interior also embodies a new design idiom, which combines sensuousness and clarity perfectly with dynamic sportiness and contributes to the quality feel of the interior.
The driver and front passenger enjoy plenty of space and luxury in a discreet, modern guise on board the new C-Class. This gives rise to a feel-good atmosphere, which is new to this class of vehicle – settling into your seat in the C-Class, is akin to the uplifting feeling of being upgraded from economy to business class on an aeroplane.
The interior design demonstrates a bold new approach by Mercedes-Benz. Here the designers combine in accomplished style the architecture of Mercedes-Benz sports cars with an all new centre console featuring flowing lines. In automatic vehicles, a large one-piece centre console panel performs an elegant sweep from the centre air vents to the armrest. These seamless clear-cut lines create a sense of open space and convey a thrillingly purist and modern feel.
On vehicles with manual transmission, the centre console is slightly steeper and features two separate trim elements in order to create ample space for ergonomic operation of the shift lever.
A centrally positioned free-standing central display is the main eye-catching feature across the centre console – with a screen diagonal of 17.78 cm (7 inches), or 21.33 cm (8.4 inches) if COMAND Online is specified.
Five round air vents lend the dashboard a sporty touch. With their metallic cool-touch effect, they create a fascinating, tangible contrast to the warm look of the other materials – such as the wood in the centre console or the leather on the dashboard. The "upgrade" feel duly continues with the controls. All switches feature a high-quality, three-dimensional design befitting a luxury vehicle and benefit from a clear layout.
The innovative touchpad in the handrest over the Controller on the centre tunnel marks a further evolutionary step developed in-house at Mercedes-Benz. As on a smartphone, this provides for very simple and intuitive operation of all the head-unit functions using finger gestures. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting - in any language. The user receives clear haptic feedback when operating the touchpad's control surface, which is highly conducive to genuine intuitive use.
Head-up display is also new to the C-Class. Like in a jet fighter, it displays important information directly in the driver's field of vision on the front windscreen, thus providing for clear legibility and ensuring that the driver is distracted less from the road ahead. The system provides information on vehicle speed, speed limits and navigation instructions and displays messages from DISTRONIC PLUS.
Three different design and equipment lines for the exterior and interior respectively offer further scope for individualisation in addition to the standard equipment and appointments.
Soon after the launch, Mercedes-Benz will expand the range of engines including a new, small diesel engine with a displacement of 1.6 litres. Reduced weight, compact design and low fuel consumption are among its special merits. Depending on its configuration, the single-stage supercharged four-cylinder engine generates 115 or 136 hp of power from a cubic capacity of 1598cc and delivers 280 or 320 Nm of torque. Its common rail direct injection system operates at a maximum injection pressure of 1600 bar. This engine places the new C-Class in a leading position within its segment in terms of CO2 emissions.
In addition to this new small diesel engine, an advanced version of the proven 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine is also to become available in several output variants. The diesel engines will then cover an output range from 115 hp to 204 hp. The C 220 BlueTEC will also be available with an output of 170 hp. All the diesel engines of the new C-Class are equipped with the established SCR technology (selective catalytic reduction) for environmental friendly driving and to ensure that the C-Class models with diesel engines attain efficiency class A at least, and in most cases even efficiency class A+.
UK specification and pricing are still to be confirmed.