Now in its fifth year of production, the C-Class is the most successful model series from Mercedes-Benz, boasting a wealth of new enhancements. In terms of looks, the focus of the redesign work was on the front of the vehicle as well as the design of the headlamps and tail lamps. Its electronic architecture is completely new. The customer benefits from a user experience with a fully digital instrument display and multimedia systems with tailor-made information and music. The C-Class assistance systems are now on par with that of the S‑Class. The newly-launched C-Class also comes with new petrol engines.
The current generation C-Class is Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling model in the last four years. The brand sold a combined total of over 415,000 Saloon and Estate models worldwide in 2017. The secret of the C-Class’s success is partly down to the wide model range, which includes two sporty two-door versions: the coupé launched at the end of 2015 and the cabriolet available since the summer of 2016 address the heart and mind in equal measure. The C-Class is produced in four plants on four continents. These are the lead plant in Bremen (Germany) plus East London (South Africa), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Beijing (China). The Beijing plant also produces the long version of the C-Class Saloon, which is built and sold exclusively in China – the C-Class largest market in 2017.
Electrification continues: C 200 with EQ Boost
A new generation of four-cylinder petrol engines is being launched in the new C-Class. At the same time the 1.5-litre version in the C 200 have an additional 48 volt system with a belt-driven starter/alternator:
- C 2002: 135 kW/184 hp, 280 Nm; add. output of electric motor 10 kW, add. torque of electric motor 160 Nm; (combined fuel consumption
3-6.0 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 144-136 g/km)1
The combination of a 48 volt onboard network and EQ Boost creates the conditions for additional functions that help to reduce fuel consumption even further while improving agility and comfort characteristics. When accelerating, EQ Boost can assist the 135 kW (184 hp) engine with an additional 10 kW (14 hp), bridging the brief moment until the turbocharger has built up its full charge pressure. This boosting is also used to reach the engine’s ideal rpm as quickly as possible during gearshifts. The shift time of the automatic transmission is shortened as a result. During deceleration, the starter/alternator recuperates kinetic energy and charges the battery. The water pump is electrically driven and actuated by a characteristic map. This optimally adapts the cooling output to the current need.
Other advantages include the gliding mode with the engine switched off, and the recuperative braking with intelligent engine stop when the vehicle is coasting. The start/stop system operates particularly comfortably thanks to the belt-driven starter/alternator, as the engine restarts almost silently, with low vibrations and very rapidly.
In-engine measures to reduce friction round off the efficiency strategy of the new four-cylinder power unit. These include the Mercedes-Benz patented CONICSHAPE® process, known in-house as conical honing: When form-honing the cylinder walls, the cylinder wall is opened out slightly towards the bottom, so as to reduce friction at the piston skirt for lower wear and fuel consumption. Alongside the diesel engines, all the petrol engines are also equipped with a particulate filter in Europe.
The two-litre variant of this engine in the C 300 is likewise new:
- C 3002: 190 kW/258 hp, 370 Nm; (combined fuel consumption
9-6.5 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 158-148 g/km)1
Basic petrol models (initially with 9G-TRONIC):
- C 180: 115 kW/156 hp, 250 Nm; (combined fuel consumption
6 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 149 g/km)
Mercedes-AMG: More performance for the C 43 4MATIC
The V6 bi-turbo engine of the Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC excels with a powerful output together with low consumption and emissions. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are especially spontaneous in their response. For the new C-Class, the AMG development engineers have increased the output of the 3.0-litre V6 engine by 17 kW (23 hp) to 287 kW (390 hp). The peak torque of 520 Nm is available from 2500 to 5000 rpm.
- C 43 4MATIC: 287 kW/390 hp, 520 Nm; (combined fuel consumption 9.3 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 211 g/km)
This package allows impressive performance figures: the new C 43 4MATIC Saloon accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, and the Estate in 4.8 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
The engine is combined with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission, which the Mercedes-AMG developers have specially configured for a dynamic driving experience. This has a model-specific software application to achieve very short shift times.
1 All stated figures were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the “NEDC CO2 figures” according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures. 2Available in 2019.
4MATIC all-wheel drive: Traction even in difficult road conditions
The Mercedes-AMG C 43 comes standard with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive for improved traction and driving stability, especially in adverse road conditions. It features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear axle split of 31 to 69 percent. As ever, the combination of the ESP® driving dynamics control system with the 4ETS electronic traction system makes regular differential locks superfluous. This saves weight and noticeably improves handling safety as well as ride comfort.
The exterior: headlamps with new interior design
The new-look C-Class combines emotionality with intelligence. The vehicle’s appearance is defined in particular by its front and the design of the headlamps and tail lights.
With the model facelift, the Saloon features the diamond grille as standard in combination with AMG Line and the front bumpers have been redesigned for all lines. These new designs render the EXCLUSIVE exterior of the Saloon in an even more expressive manner and lend the AVANTGARDE exterior a yet more dynamic character. The front bumper features a chrome-plated trim strip (in combination with AVANTGARDE exterior) or a three-part chrome trim strip (EXCLUSIVE exterior). In conjunction with AMG Line exterior, the vehicle sports an AMG front apron with new geometry and at the rear the insert in diffuser-look comes in a new design. The rear bumper of these models has a new lower section; geometry, trim and tailpipe trim vary according to the selected equipment and engine variant.
The design of the front and rear lamps are defined by clear-lined contours. Exquisitely crafted details add highlights and underscore the modern character. The C-Class models come with LED High Performance headlamps featuring a particularly striking interior design. For the first time in this model series, MULTIBEAM LED headlamps with ULTRA RANGE high beam are additionally available (see below for details).
Interior design: exquisite fine-tuning
The sporty interior exudes class, featuring flowing forms in a new interpretation of modern luxury.
The centre console is characterised by an elegant flowing trim element – optionally with new materials: open-pore brown walnut or open-pore anthracite oak. The 3D real wood veneer in the centre console combines a hand-crafted character with a modern feel. Newly available interior colours include magma grey/black, plus saddle brown for the AMG Line interior. A change of colour also applies to the option of seat belts in a special colour, which now comes in magma grey instead of crystal grey.
The KEYLESS-GO starting function is standard. The start/stop button comes in a new turbine-look design. The vehicle key also features a new design.
The Multicontour Seat package for the Saloon and Estate is new. With this package, the side bolsters and lumbar support can be individually adjusted by means of an electrically driven pneumatic pump. A massage effect in the lumbar area is provided by air chambers which are inflated and deflated in a pulsing or wave-like motion when the function is activated.
Intelligent Drive: State-of-the-art active safety
The new C-Class features the latest Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems offering the driver cooperative support and therefore provides a higher level of active safety than its predecessor. The C-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in even more situations.
For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package is not only able to support the driver to automatically maintain the correct distance from the vehicle ahead but also to give the driver noticeable steering assistance, even on bends. Other new developments include intuitively understandable Evasive Steering Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist as new functions of Active Steering Assist.
The new C-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, this can help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slow-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or prevent them altogether.
MULTIBEAM LED headlamps: Optimum visibility in all conditions
The optionally available MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are new to the C-Class. New functions in comparison to the previously available LED Intelligent Light System are junction light, roundabout light, city light and bad-weather light.
In high-beam mode, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus enables continuous long-range illumination of the road ahead without dazzling oncoming traffic. When no other road user is detected, the road ahead is straight and the vehicle speed is above 40 km/h, ULTRA RANGE high beam is switched on automatically. When there are oncoming vehicles or vehicles ahead, the LEDs of the main beam modules are partially switched off, masking out a U-shaped area of the light beam.
The display concept: fully digital instrument display
The C-Class has a new display concept which includes a fully-digital instrument cluster with the three visually distinguishable styles “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive”.
The screen options at a glance:
Instrument cluster: The fully digital instrument display is available as standard. The screen has a 12.3-inch diagonal and offers high resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. The cutting-edge screen design offers the three very different display styles “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive”.
Media display: The multimedia screen above the centre console is also available in two sizes. In conjunction with Audio 20, a high-resolution media display with a 10.25-inch screen diagonal and a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels is available for the first time.
The C-Class has touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel. They respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. The operation of DISTRONIC and cruise control with controls directly on the steering wheel is another new feature. The infotainment system can additionally be operated via the touchpad with controller (new: haptic feedback) in the centre console or by means of LINGUATRONIC voice control. The optional head-up display is now adjustable over an even wider range.
ENERGIZING comfort control: for enhanced well-being
ENERGIZING comfort control (optional) links various comfort systems in the vehicle. It systematically uses the functions of the air conditioning system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation) as well as lighting and musical moods, and allows a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer. This has positive effects on well-being and driver performance.
Depending on the equipment level, up to six programmes are available (Freshness, Vitality, Warmth, Cosiness, Joy, Training). The programmes all run for ten minutes. They are visualised on the media display with colour graphics, and backed by suitable music.
The multimedia systems: Tailor-made information and music offerings
The C-Class comes as standard with the Audio 20 multimedia system featuring two USB ports, an SD card reader, Bluetooth® connection and media interface.
The latest-generation COMAND Online available as optional equipment offers fast 3D hard-disc navigation with topographical map display, photo-realistic 3D buildings and 3D map rotations. Extensive additional information is displayed on the navigation map.
Two models with character
The C‑Class Cabriolet has been the entry-level model to the world of Mercedes-Benz convertibles since 2016. The four-seater with a classic fabric soft top is the embodiment of the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy: sensual purity as the definition of modern luxury – hot & cool. At the same time the Cabriolet shows independence of character with a visibly sporty expression and youthfully fresh appeal. The Coupé introduced in 2015 appeals to both the heart and mind.
The tightly stretched Cabriolet soft top with a glass window transitions harmoniously into the distinctively styled rear end, which has a highly sporty look with its wide shoulders and flat LED tail lights. Depending on the engine variant, the boot capacity is up to 360 litres. For a convertible, the C-Class Cabriolet accommodates an unusually large amount of luggage and therefore provides excellent conditions for high day-to-day suitability.
The Cabriolet is optionally available with the AIRCAP electric draught stop system and AIRSCARF neck-level heating – for exceptional comfort during open-top driving on 365 days of the year. With the roof closed, the Cabriolet excels aerodynamically with a Cd figure of 0.29 (Coupé: 0.26).
Coupé: Athletic and sporty
As the sportiest variant of the C-Class, the Coupé displays its driving enjoyment-oriented character in an emotive and at the same time formally distinct design. A sportily striking front section featuring a diamond radiator grille and long bonnet gives way to a low greenhouse whose lines flow into a bold and powerful-looking rear which carries the genes of Mercedes coupés. A high beltline and frameless doors with free-standing exterior mirrors underscore the sporty character. The optional panoramic sliding sunroof with an electric sunblind and anti-pinch protection directly adjoins the windscreen and spans two thirds of the roof area. It therefore gives all passengers the best possible view, and creates a bright, friendly atmosphere in the interior.
As the suspension is 15 millimetres lower than that of the Saloon, the two-door C-Class models already look sporty with the standard 17-inch wheels, emphasising the sporty overall character. The four-link front axle with wheel suspension decoupled from the spring strut plays a major part in the agile handling characteristics. This allows sporty axle kinematics for plenty of grip and high lateral stability. As a result, the suspension responds more sensitively to steering movements and allows a sporty, agile driving style. A multi-link independent rear suspension with five links ensures excellent wheel location qualities and supreme straight-line stability. Option such as the new DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL suspension including the Sport Direct-Steer system further enhance the driving experience and allow thrilling dynamism.
The sharper front end design exudes sportiness and lifestyle at first glance. Powerful styling elements such as the new bumper and the standard diamond radiator grille lend the C-Class Cabriolet and Coupé an individual character. The now standard LED High Performance headlamps in a new design have an especially distinctive, avantgarde appearance. For the first time in this model series, MULTIBEAM LED headlamps with ULTRA RANGE high beam are additionally available.
Thanks to the autonomous design with the dynamic details and standard-fit two-pipe exhaust system (petrol engines), the rear view appears broad and agile. A particular highlight both day and night are the revised, more accentuated all-LED rear lamps.
The sporty design features are heightened with the AMG Line. For example, the AMG Line Exterior includes the diamond radiator grille with pins in chrome plus an AMG-specific front apron with new geometry, sporty air intakes and a chromed trim element. The exterior with the Night package, available for the cabriolet for the first time, sports an even more athletic look with its black design features. These include the black trim elements in the AMG front apron and the AMG rear apron plus exterior mirror housings painted in high-gloss black. A particular highlight both day and night are the redesigned, more accentuated all-LED rear lamps.
The colour spectrum has been broadened with the AMG Line. New colours are mojave silver metallic and – exclusively for the Coupé and Cabriolet – graphite grey metallic.
Digital cockpit and lounge ambience
The sporty interior with its autonomous integral-look seats is characterised by further-enhanced perceived quality and flowing shapes and the facelift takes it into the digital era.
The centre console is characterised by an elegant flowing trim element – optionally with new materials: open-pore brown walnut or open-pore anthracite oak. The two-tone colour combination magma grey/black is newly available for the interior.
The KEYLESS-GO starting function is standard. The start/stop button comes in a new turbine-look design. The vehicle key also features a new design. Customers have a choice between three variants: black with high-gloss chrome surround, white with high-gloss chrome surround or white with matt chrome surround.
The soft top of the Cabriolet can be operated from the outside with the vehicle key and the “Open/Close” buttons.
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