Mercedes-Benz has launched the updated version of its highly successful C-Class sedan. The C-Class sold more than 415,000 cars worldwide in 2017. Selvin Govender, Marketing Director of Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa, attributes the secret of the locally built C-Class’s success partly to the wide model range, also including two sporty two-door versions: the Coupé and the Cabriolet, which have appealed to new audiences in the local market.
In terms of looks, the C-Class features a redesigned front, with new-look headlamps and tail lamps. The electronics are completely new, with safety and driver assistance systems now claimed by Mercedes-Benz to be at the level of the flagship S Class series. There are also new petrol and diesel engines across the range.
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The new-look C-Class boasts a striking new front, a new design of the headlamps and tail lights. The sedan features the diamond grille as standard in combination with AMG Line, with front bumpers redesigned for all lines and rear bumpers varying according to the selected equipment and engine variant.
The C-Class comes 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.
The interior has also been given an update. The centre console has a flowing trim element, with the option of new materials: open-pore brown walnut or open-pore anthracite oak. The optional fully-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and the upgraded infotainment system include standard smartphone integration that can be accessed through touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel, which respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. The operation of Distronic (a driver assistance system which combines automatic speed regulation with proximity control in relation to a vehicle traveling in front) and cruise control with controls directly on the steering wheel is another new feature.
From a comfort perspective, the new Multicontour Seat package is said to now literally offer a massage: the side bolsters and lumbar support can be individually adjusted by means of an electrically driven pneumatic pump, with a massage effect in the lumbar area available through air chambers which are inflated and deflated in a pulsing motion.
The new C-Class sees the launch of a new generation of four-cylinder petrol engines. There is a new 4-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine in the C200, with 9-speed automatic transmission across the range. The 1.5-litre engine is supplemented with a 48-volt on-board network and the EQ Boost integrated starter-generator that produces an additional 10 kW and 160 Nm while accelerating. A new-generation 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine is found in the C300, with outputs of 190kw and 370Nm.
The new 1.6-litre version of the current diesel engine family kicks off in the C-Class. The C 220d 4MATIC makes 143 kW and 400 Nm. There’s also more performance for the C43 4MATIC with a V6 biturbo engine that increases the output of the 3.0-litre V6 engine by 17 kW to 287 kW 520 Nm of torque. The new C 43 4MATIC Sedan accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, with top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h.
Another new feature is the automatic notification if the vehicle suffers an impact caused by another vehicle when parked, is towed away or there is a break-in attempt. The sensors of the standard “Anti-theft alarm system (ATA)” can detect such situations and immediately send a “push notification” message to the Mercedes me App. The optional feature includes the new sensors and the corresponding software.
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