Alongside the A-Class, the G-Class and the new four-door Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé, highlights at this year’s Geneva Motor Show include the world premiere of the new C-Class in Saloon and Estate guise with new petrol and diesel engines, and as plug-in hybrid models.
Now in its fifth year of production, the C-Class is the most successful model series from Mercedes-Benz and boasts a wealth of enhancements. The design of the exterior and interior benefits from a stylish makeover. The electronic architecture is completely new. Options include a fully digital instrument display and multimedia systems featuring customised information and music offerings. The assistance systems likewise benefit from the new electronic architecture and are now on a par with those of the S‑Class.
The C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling model in its fourth year on sale. The brand sold a combined total of over 415,000 Saloon and Estate models worldwide in 2017.
The new-look C-Class combines emotionality with intelligence. The vehicle’s new appearance is defined in particular by its front end and the design of the headlamps and tail lights. On the new version, the AMG Line features the diamond radiator grille as standard. The front bumpers have been redesigned for all lines. They feature either a silver trim strip (standard), a chrome-plated trim strip (in combination with AVANTGARDE exterior) or a three-part chrome trim strip (EXCLUSIVE exterior).
The design of the front and rear lamps is defined by clear-lined contours. High-quality, sculpted details underline the sophisticated look and feel. MULTIBEAM LED headlamps with ULTRA RANGE high beam are available for this model series for the first time.
The sporty interior displays a premium look and feel as well as flowing forms. The centre console is characterised by an elegant flowing trim. This is available in 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. New interior colours include magma grey/black, plus saddle brown for the AMG Line interior.
The C-Class adopts the control and display concept from the current S‑Class and comes with the option of a fully digital instrument display with three individually selectable display styles. The C‑Class has touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel. 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 new C-Class features the latest driving assistance systems, offering the driver cooperative support and providing for a higher standard of active safety than its predecessor. The C‑Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. The C‑Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package is able to support the driver in numerous situations on the basis of map information and predictively adjust the speed e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Other new developments include intuitively understandable Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist as new functions of Active Steering Assist.
The optionally available MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are new to the C‑Class. Each headlamp incorporates 84 individually controllable LEDs. These allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation.
ENERGIZING comfort control (optional) links various comfort systems in the vehicle. It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage) as well as lighting and musical moods, and enables a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer. This has positive effects on wellbeing and driver performance.
EQ: the electric brand is gathering pace
Mercedes-Benz Cars is continuing its electric offensive: in Geneva, the product and technology brand EQ is providing a look ahead to the future portfolio of this umbrella brand and, as part of this strategic and model-policy realignment, is showcasing the first series-production model with battery-electric drive. Various latest-generation plug-in hybrid models are also celebrating their world premieres. They combine the latest hybrid technology from Mercedes-Benz with the latest-generation diesel engine (OM 654).
With the smart edition nightsky (combined electrical consumption 13.0–12.9 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km), smart is showing the next step towards electrical intelligence. Simple and uncomplicated use of locally emission-free electric mobility is facilitated by a new smart app (likely to be available from the third quarter of 2018). Users can check the current status of their vehicle at any time via smartphone or watch. Charge level and range are shown as examples. A new 22 kW onboard charger will be available from March 2018.