The all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been officially unveiled today! The 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sheds 100 kilograms over the previous generation and offers excellent aerodynamics together with new, economical engines. The C-Class is Mercedes-Benz’s biggest selling model and, therefore, is expected to sell very well indeed. The previous generation sold over 2.4 million units since its launch in 2007.The Saloon is available to order from today and German prices (including 19% VAT) will see the Mercedes-Benz C 180 Saloon priced from 33,558 euros, the C 200 Saloon priced from 36,414 euros and the C 220 BlueTEC priced from 38,675 euros.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class continues the modern trend for ever-larger cars (perhaps driven, in part, by the Chinese market). It gets an 80-millimetre increase in wheelbase (up to 2.84 metres in total) compared with the previous model. It is 95 millimetres longer (4.686 metres in total) and 40 millimetres wider (1.81 metres in total). The boot capacity is also larger at 480 litres. In design, the new C-Class borrows a little from its larger brothers, the S-Class and the E-Class. It features a similar grille layout with large, stylised air intakes and a beautifully sculpted set of headlights. Its side profile is noticeably shorter than the two premium models. It gets shorter overhangs, while the styling lines are visually similar. At the rear, the stylised rear trim and lights definitely resemble the rest of the family.
Customers will be able to choose from a centrally positioned Mercedes-Benz star or, an exclusive classic saloon radiator grille featuring the Mercedes-Benz star on the bonnet. Interestingly, the fins of the radiator grille act as active aerodynamics and can be closed completely to optimise the vehicle’s Cd value. The new C-Class comes with H7 halogen headlamps as standard with two energy-saving LED variants also available as an option.
Inside, the car looks like much of the current generation Mercedes-Benz models. The dash is relatively short with a a prominent LCD screen and air vents. The look is modern and luxurious. It gets a totally new centre console. The console is slightly steeper for cars fitted with a manual transmission than those with an automatic. This is an ergonomic choice rather than engineering.
The C-Class gets an innovative touchpad in the handrest over the Controller on the centre tunnel. This operates using finger gestures with letters, numbers and special characters able to be entered in handwriting in any language. A head up display is included with information on vehicle speed, speed limits and navigation instructions and displays messages from Distronic Plus. Three different design and equipment lines are available, for the exterior and interior respectively. The Aventegarde line showcases the C-Class as a sporty saloon, the Exclusive line places the emphasis on sophistication and modern luxury and the AMG line lends the C-Class a decidedly sporty character.
Efficiency is a key factor with the C-Class, the body-in-white is an intelligent aluminium hybrid body, around 70 kg lighter than a conventional steel body. This allows engineers the opportunity to cut fuel consumption by up to 20 percent without any loss of performance, while at the same time enabling a lower centre of gravity. The car consists of a 50% aluminium construction rather than the 10% of the previous generation. It complies with all current national laws, rating requirements and internal Mercedes-Benz safety standards.
All engines now come equipped with ECO start/stop function and comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard. From launch, 3 model varients will be available, a diesel in the guise of the Mercedes-Benz C 220 BlueTEC and the two petrol models, the C 180 and C 200. The range of engines will increase after launch to include a new small 4-cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 1.6 litres and single-stage supercharged. This will be offered with 115 or 136 hp of power and 280 or 320 Nm of torque.
A reworked version of the 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine will also become available with between 115 hp and 204 hp. Next, five four-cylinder petrol engines rated at between 156 to 238 hp will become available including a special C 180 ECO Edition model, which qualifies for efficiency class A as the BlueEFFICIENCY Edition. A six-cylinder petrol engine rated at 333 hp will also follow in due course. A further particularly economical hybrid model which is to follow at a later juncture will feature state-of-the-art plug-in technology.
Mercedes have put a lot of work into redeveloping the transmissions and drive-trains of the car. Depending on the model the is a choice of two new 6-speed manual transmissions for the four-cylinder engines in the new C-Class which stand apart first and foremost by virtue of their enhanced ease of shifting coupled with increased shifting precision and a harmonious gear-change sequence. Smooth automatic gear shifting is provided by the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, which has undergone further development at Mercedes-Benz in the interests of enhanced environment-friendliness and driving pleasure.
As with the transmission and drive-train, the 2014 C-Class the suspension has been re-designed. The new system results in nimble and agile handling that makes driving a great pleasure on winding roads while also offering the highest standard of ride comfort. This is a result of a newly designed 4-link front axle, which plays a major part in the agile handling characteristics. The technicians in Germans have also developed an air suspension system, a first in the segment. The new system dubbed AIRMATIC, operated on the front and rear axles. The driver can use the AGILITY SELECT switch to choose between the various characteristics: “Comfort”, “ECO”, “Sport” and “Sport+”. The additional “Individual” option enables drivers to configure their vehicle according to their own wishes.
All models of the new C-Class family will feature the electromechanical Direct Steer system as standard. This combines road-speed-dependent power assistance from the speed-sensitive power steering system with a steering ratio which varies according to the given steering angle. As with all other Mercedes in the current line-up, safety is a priority in the cars design. The new C-Class incorporates almost all of the new assistance systems with a host of enhanced functions which celebrated their world premiere in the S-Class and E-Class only a few months ago. Mercedes calls this Intelligent Drive. This consists of Attention Assist which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, Collision Prevention when a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 200 km/h, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles and BAS Plus a system that can now also detect crossing traffic and boost the braking force if the driver fails to apply the brakes sufficiently or stop the car entirely even if the driver does not touch the brakes.