The premium compact car class just got a whole lot more interesting! Motorhub was at the global premiere of the new C Class today and it is an impressive machine. The new car gets more tech and is connected. The dash delivera a wow factor with a really cool new ‘all glass’ dash layout as standard. Outside the car looks like a mini S Class (Fr. Ted ‘near / far away’) with perhaps more of a coupe look to its styling… especially at the rear.
Inside the cabin the new MBUX takes a leap forward (Mercedes speak for interface) with an almost mini S Class feel. The steering wheel gets touch sensitive buttons, while the centre console gets a Tesla-like touch screen tablet. A new head up display can display cool features like augmented reality navigation. Some more cabin space has been found and there is more rear legroom. High quality materials abound too. The driver gets a nice cockpit feel.
Power comes form an electrified range of ‘newly developed’ engines. Five petrol and three diesels will be available at launch, all with four-cylinder, turbo charged engines and 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. Petrol models are: C 180 (1496cc/Nm 250 torque), C 200 and C 200 4MATIC (1496cc /Nm 300), C 300 and C 300 4MATIC (1999cc/Nm 400). Diesel models are: C 200 d(1951cc/Nm 380) C 220 d (1992cc/Nm 440) and C 300 d(1992cc/Nm 550). Plug-in hybrid versions with an electric range of around 100 kilometres will follow. The main plug in hybrids (PHEV) will feature a petrol and a diesel engine (for high mileage users and particularly company car drivers in Ireland who can claim back VAT on fuel). A fire breathing C63 AMG will also be a PHEV be a turbocharged four cylinder (not 8!) and electric motor providing the grunt. An all terrain model C-Class estate is on the way and looks chunky.
Buckets of driving assistance will be available such as active cruise control, active lane keeping and a greater degree of semi-autonomous driving. Digital smart headlights look very useful. Remote parking via a smartphone will feature also – we saw this tech first in the E Class a few years back… but this system can now drive further driver-less so to speak.
A saloon and estate were shown to us but we can expect more body forms like a four door coupe in the future. Rear axle steering is offered as a first in the C-Class. The driving dynamics have been improved all round. Since 1992 over 10.5m C-Class have been sold. In Ireland, models most likely to appeal to owners are C 180 and C 200d. Prices will be announced closer to its arrival date in September.
Comparing it to its predecessor, Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, said: “in all but name, the new C-Class is pure S-Class in so many respects… Coming immediately behind the flagship model, it raises the bar beyond what owners might have expected from a first-tier offering in the luxury segment. In that regard, it sets a new benchmark for Mercedes-Benz itself and others.”