- Vigorous: major design update for the saloon and estate
- Extended: ten new assistance systems for more safety
- Efficient: new engines with up to 31 percent lower fuel consumption
- Experience: new generation of telematics with internet access
- Successful: more than one million units of the current model series
sold since March 2007
The new C-Class launched in spring 2011 is a comprehensive modernisation. The front and rear sections of this bestselling model have a more striking design. Together with the optional high-resolution colour display in the instrument cluster, the new dashboard with its elegant, grained surface and prominent decorative trim emphasises the premium character of the interior. Fuel consumption has been lowered by up to 31 percent. Efficiency-enhancing measures include new engines, the improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function. Ten new driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control are now available for this model series. The new-generation telematics include internet access and a 3D navigation display with plastic city views.
The drive system and safety systems in the new-generation C-Class offer the comfort, efficiency and safety of our luxury vehicles. The new telematics generation connects the C-Class with the internet. Plus, with many significant details in the interior, the vehicle calls to mind the new CLS and sets totally new standards in its segment where value and quality impression are concerned,” remarks Dr Joachim Schmidt, Member of Mercedes-Benz Cars Management responsible for Sales and Marketing. This modernisation of the interior is rounded off by the new telematics generation, which not only includes totally reworked displays; it also facilitates in-car internet access.
A total of more than 2000 new components distinguish the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from its predecessor. In addition to the standard appointments – which now include a leather steering wheel – the two design and equipment lines ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE are the basis for the individualisation range for the C-Class. The two lines are now more readily distinguishable from each other.
The C-Class is the highest-selling model series, and therefore of particular importance for Mercedes-Benz. The current series has found well over one million buyers worldwide since its launch in March 2007. Since the market launch of the first C-Class in 1982 (then known as the 190 model), Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 8.5 million vehicles in total in this segment. In 2010, too, the C-Class was repeatedly topping the registration statistics. Since 2008 the saloon has been the unbeaten world market leader in its segment. It has also positioned itself right at the head of the field in quality inspections in Europe (ADAC (German automobile association) breakdown statistics) and in the USA (J. D. Power study).
Dynamic, resolute, self-assured: the exterior
The front bumper has a more expressive and dynamic contour, the front section being brought closer to the brand’s new design idiom. As a central element at the front, the shape of the radiator grille is more prominently supported by the bumper. The central air intake opens out upwards in a V-shape, forming a visual base unit for the radiator grille. Pronounced side sections on the bumper extend from the sporty V-shape at the centre. These sections (beneath the headlamps) blend into the feature lines along the vehicle flanks, creating a link with the sides. The side air inlets in the bumper are positioned low down, giving the car a more road-hugging appearance.
The saloon and estate now have a new aluminium bonnet, which contributes to weight reduction and therefore fuel efficiency. Other aluminium features include the front wings and the door modules. The contour of the bonnet in the area of the headlamps and radiator grille emphasises the V-shape of the front section more heavily than before. In conjunction with the newly designed headlamps, this renders the front section significantly more striking.
The shape of the clear-lens headlamps has been modified to create a more dynamic and resolute impression, and to act together with the bonnet, radiator grille and bumper to emphasise the V-shape of the front section. This impression is reinforced by both the exterior form of the headlamps and the interior of the housings. The headlamps show their modernity by precision and an interplay between matt and high-sheen areas. The halogen headlamps are arranged in the classic way, with low beam on the outside, main beam on the inside and the indicators neatly arranged in the outer corner formed with the front wing.
If the optional bi-xenon headlamps with the Intelligent Light System (ILS) are ordered, the impression of depth is reinforced by a row of lighting modules. A position light with a distinctive C-shape emphasises the night design. Behind it is a cornering light extending to the main headlamp module on the outside. A visual base in the lower section of the headlamp is formed by a horizontal broadband LED indicator unit. The horizontal LED daytime running lamps in the bumper also make the C-Class unmistakable from a distance.
In the case of the rear bumper, the light-catching contours and dividing lines have been modified to emphasise the width of the saloon and estate even more strongly. This change is particularly obvious in the more steeply rising course of the side light-catching contours towards the tail lights. A continuous light-catching contour at the upper end of the rear bumper extends into the flanks to connect the tail end with the sides to emphasise the sporty character of the rear aspect. In the facelifted model, the tail lights are even more neatly integrated into the tail end by a continuous covering lens. The characteristic surface meander is now on the inside of the light, and reminiscent of preceding model series. The particular impression of depth is achieved by a centrally located LED indicator, which appears to float in front of the red upper and lower light bands with their more deeply set LEDs. The tail lights have a particularly high recognition factor in the dark.
The aerodynamics of the C-Class are the mark of the bodyshell’s efficiency. With a Cd figure of 0.26 it not only sets the benchmark in its class, but also glides through the wind better than most compact and even small cars with its drag area of Cd x A = 0.57 sq. m.