The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is on its absolute best form at its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Mercedes-Benz auf der North American International Autoshow (NAIAS), 2014 in DetroitMercedes-Benz at the North American International Autoshow 2014 in Detroit

The successor to the bestselling Mercedes model sets new benchmarks wherever it matters – in safety and efficiency, as well as in comfort and wellbeing. Just eight months after the launch of the new S‑Class, the new C-Class is the very first car in its segment worldwide to come to market with high-tech features from the luxury class, including a chassis with air suspension (AIRMATIC) and the Stop&Go Pilot for partially autonomous driving.

Mercedes-Benz auf der North American International Autoshow 2014 in Detroit Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Vorstandsvorsitzender der Daimler AG und Leiter Mercedes-Benz Cars, präsentiert den S 600 in Detroit. Mercedes-Benz at the North American International Autosho

The highlights of the 2014 NAIAS include another two Mercedes world premieres – the new S 600 with a V12 engine debuts as the new top model in the S-Class line-up following its successful launch in 2013. Also in the spotlight is the GLA 45 AMG, the world’s sportiest compact SUV.

NAIAS 2014

“With the brand-new C-Class, we are continuing to accelerate our rate of innovation,” says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “For instance, it’s the only car in its segment to enable partially autonomous driving. The intelligent application of lightweight materials is also ground-breaking. This makes the new model up to 100 kilograms lighter than its predecessor and therefore also the most agile and efficient C-Class ever.”

NAIAS 2014

Together with best-in-class aerodynamics (cd 0.24) and new, fuel-efficient engines, the new C-Class achieves the best efficiency figures in its segment. “The new model consumes up to 20 percent less fuel than its predecessor,” says Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Car Development.

“And we will increase its efficiency even further. We will soon offer two model variants that emit just 99 and 98 grams of CO2 – appearing initially in Europe. In addition to that, we also have a hybrid version with plug-in technology in the pipeline.” When it comes to drive and safety, too, the new C-Class also benefits from Mercedes innovations from the luxury class. A raft of intelligent assistance systems from the new S-Class – brought together under the heading “Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive” – offer the very highest levels of safety.

The new C-Class joins the latest generations of the E and S-Class to create the youngest and most wide-ranging saloon line-up of any automaker worldwide. “But not only do we offer the newest product portfolio, it is also the most intelligent and best connected,” continues Weber.

Elegantly dynamic design with clear design language
The new C-Class also sets accents with its clear and emotional design language. The elegantly dynamic exterior design harmonises perfectly with the modern interior, which sets completely new benchmarks in its class. Compared with the competition, the C-Class positions itself a class above.

Like the S and E-Class, the C-Class, too, conveys that ‘welcome home feeling’ that is so typical of Mercedes-Benz – but with a very specifically C-Class feel about it,” says Ola Källenius, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The new C-Class rounds off our saloon line-up. And it’s a line-up that– each in its own distinctive way – embodies the very highest level of modern luxury,” continues Källenius.

NAIAS 2014

“American C-Class” will come from Tuscaloosa
Based on volumes, the C-Class is the most important car to bear the three-pointed star, and the USA remains the biggest single market worldwide for the Mercedes-Benz bestseller. “Which is why,” says Dieter Zetsche, “we are proud that our new C-Class is now also being built in the USA – as the first premium mid-range model from a German manufacturer.” The “American C-Class” is being produced at the Mercedes factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which already builds other models, including the M-Class.

The new S 600 – top model with V12 engine
Making its debut in Detroit alongside the C-Class is the new top model in the S-Class line-up: The luxury saloon with the V12 biturbo engine is available in long wheelbase only and with extensive equipment. When it comes to market in March 2014, the other models in the range will also benefit from an expanded equipment offering. The head-up display and a new touchpad for operating the COMAND online multimedia system will be among the new array of standard equipment delivered with all S-Class models.

NAIAS 2014

At 390 kW (530 hp), the V12 biturbo engine in the S 600 generates even more power than the 380 kW (517 hp) produced by its predecessor. Yet, with 11.1 l/100 km, it consumes 21 percent less fuel. Displacement increases from 5,513 to 5,980 cm3. Maximum torque stands at 830 Nm and is available as of 1,900 rpm.

The new GLA 45 AMG – an all-rounder with Driving Performance
The Mercedes-AMG performance brand also continues to push forward with its product offensive: The new GLA 45 AMG makes a dynamic statement in the rapidly growing compact SUV segment. The combination of powerfully distinctive design, exclusive equipment and superior power and performance is unique.

The world’s most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine produces 265 kW (360 hp) and develops torque of 450 Newton metres. Considering this astonishing potential, the new high-performance SUV is extremely modest when it comes to emissions and fuel consumption: With an average of 7.5 l/100 km (175 g/km CO2) and fulfilment of the EU 6 emissions standard, the GLA 45 AMG once again proves that, at Mercedes-AMG, high performance does not come at the expense of the environment.

The GLA 45 AMG is also in pole position in terms of performance: It accelerates in 4.8 seconds from zero to 100 km/h and achieves a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited). Paired with the series-production, performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission, its impressive drive concept is both dynamic and efficient.

Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “Feedback on the Concept GLA 45 AMG during its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show provided clear affirmation of our decision to bring this new AMG model to market. Right now, no other segment is growing as rapidly as that of the compact SUV. Our new high-performance SUV offers not only the world’s most powerful series-production four-cylinder, but also impressively low consumption and emissions figures. And, not least, the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive makes the GLA 45 AMG nothing less than a true AMG.”

Source: Mercedes-Benz / Pictures: Daimler AG + MBpassion.de