Welcome to a new, even more digital and efficient world, and welcome home: the new C-Class stands for both, and in all respects creates a future-proof comfort zone in a time of worldwide transformation. As the first classic model series from Mercedes-Benz, the new C-Class is electrified throughout thanks to plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids with 48-volt technology and integrated starter-generator. Due to a high-efficiency battery system, it achieves an electric range of about 100 kilometres (WLTP) as a plug-in hybrid. That is unprecedented in this category to date. It also sets standards with respect to sustainability. And because the C-Class is one of the company’s highest-volume model series, this systematic electrification has a correspondingly strong effect on our carbon footprint. Other technical refinements include optional features such as DIGITAL LIGHT and rear-axle steering. The Saloon and Estate models première together, can be ordered from 30 March and will arrive in dealer showrooms in summer 2021.
Design: Sensual purity with a sporty and elegant touch
The new C-Class already looks to be in motion at a standstill with its dynamic proportions, thanks to the combination of short front overhang, long wheelbase and rear overhang. The sporty bonnet with power domes accentuates this urge of forward motion. The windscreen and passenger cell have been moved to the rear for these classic proportions known in the industry as “cab-backward design”. The preceding model was already a great step forward in terms of a high-value appeal in the interior, and the new C-Class goes even further with respect to modern luxury. The interior adopts highlights from the new S-Class, adding a sporty touch.
Exterior design: Profile with attractive light effects
When viewed from the side, elaborately sculptured surfaces create unique light effects. Conversely, the designers have reduced lines to a minimum, which accentuates the so-called catwalk line or shoulder line even more. In the Estate model, the progressive roof line in combination with the inclined rear window adds a sporty touch without functional compromises. Other features producing the sporty, superior appearance include the wide track and the flush 17- to 19-inch wheels in modern designs.
The brand’s hallmark radiator grille characterises the front. All models feature a central star, with the design and character of the radiator grille differing in the details. The base model has a central star and louvres. In the AVANTGARDE line, there are additional decorative elements in the louvres, while the radiator grille and front apron feature chrome surrounds. The distinguishing feature of the AMG Line is the diamond grille with the star design in chrome.
The rear-end design is typical of a Mercedes-Benz saloon. The high-quality design of the tail lamps fascinates with an unmistakable day and night appearance. In the Saloon, the lamps for the first time have a two-piece design in the
C-Class, with the light functions divided between the side wall and boot lid lamps. Their precisely configured interiors also showcase the standard of particularly high quality in detail. Optional or line-specific trim in the rear bumper attractively rounds off the rear view. Three new paint finishes – spectral blue, high-tech silver and opalite white – have been added to the colour range.
Interior design: sporty touches thanks to the driver-centred design
The dashboard is divided into an upper and a lower section: into a wing-like section with new, flattened round vents reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles, and into an opulent expanse of trim. The latter flows from the centre console to the dashboard without interruption. Driver-focus adds to the sportiness: the dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver by six degrees.
The driver area features a high-resolution LCD screen. It is free-standing, and appears to float in front of the wing profile and the expanse of trim. This sets the driver display apart from traditional cockpits with classic round dials. Customers have a choice between a 10.25-inch (26.0 cm) or a 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) version.
The paradigm change to digitisation is also obvious in the central display: the vehicle functions can be controlled using the high-quality touchscreen. Its portrait orientation is particularly advantageous for navigation. The touchscreen likewise appears to float above the expanse of trim. Like the dashboard, the screen is slightly tilted towards the driver. The central display has a screen diagonal of 9.5 inches (24.1 cm) as standard. A larger version measuring 11.9 inches or 30.2 cm is optionally available.
A high-quality chrome insert divides the centre console into a rear, padded section for the armrest and a front section in lustrous jet black. The seemingly free-floating central display rises smoothly and seamlessly from this three-dimensional surface.
The modern, highly reduced design of door panels frames both ends of the dashboard. The door centre panel with integrated armrest evolves from a vertical surface into a horizontal orientation. Reflecting the design of the centre console, the front section takes the form of a metallic high-tech element. It can be used as a grab or closing handle, and houses the power window controls. Another highlight is the floating control cluster, into which the door opener and seat adjustment controls are integrated.
The special design of the optional AVANTGARDE or sport seats of the new C-Class uses layers and enveloping surfaces to create a visual impression of lightness. The head restraints are a completely new design and are attached to the backrest with a sealed piece of trim under which the adjustment mechanism is located.
A dashboard covered with man-made leather and featuring nappa-look beltlines is available for the C-Class (optional equipment, standard with AMG Line). The range of available trim showcases innovative surfaces. These include new interpretations of open-pored veneers in brown tones and a black, open-pored wood veneer featuring fine inlays of genuine aluminium that follow the dashboard’s contours.
The driver display and media display offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. The look of the screens can be individualised with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service). In “Sporty”, for example, the colour red is predominant and the central rev counter has a dynamic design. If any of the lines are selected, the new C-Class is equipped with ambient lighting featuring optical fibres as standard.
Thanks to systematic electrification and intelligent downsizing, the new C-Class sets new standards in efficiency. The engine range has only four-cylinder units from the current modular FAME (Family of Modular Engines) Mercedes-Benz engine family. Accordingly, the engine range plays a major role in the flexibility of the international production network, with needs-based electrification.
In addition to turbocharging, both the diesel and the petrol engines now have an integrated starter-generator (ISG) for intelligent assistance at low engine speeds as a mild hybrid of the second generation. This ensures outstanding power delivery. The ISG uses a 48 volt on-board electrical system that ensures functions such as gliding, boosting or energy recovery, and makes significant fuel savings possible. The engines also start very rapidly and comfortably as a result, so that the start/stop function is almost as imperceptible to the driver as the transition from gliding with the engine switched off to strong acceleration under engine power. When idling, the intelligent interaction between the ISG and the combustion engine ensures outstandingly smooth running.
First diesel with an integrated starter-generator
Spearhead of the efficiency improvement measures is the new OM 654 M with an integrated second-generation starter-generator (ISG). It has a 48-volt partial on-board electrical system. An energy recovery function and the ability to “glide” with the engine switched off make the engine even more efficient. Along with electrification, which also includes the use of an electric refrigerant compressor for the air conditioning system, the most important modifications that make an output of up to 195 kW plus an additional 15 kW from the EQ Boost system possible are:
- A new crankshaft increases the stroke to 94.3 mm and the displacement to 1992 cc (previously: 92.3 and 1950).
- The injection pressure is increased to 2700 bar (previously 2500).
- Particularly fast response times and uniform power delivery thanks to two water-cooled turbochargers, both now featuring variable turbine geometry.
- A sodium-filled cooling duct in each of the steel pistons. This helps to dissipate temperature peaks in the combustion cavity of the pistons.
In terms of exhaust gas aftertreatment, this most powerful of the four-cylinder diesel engines also takes things one step further. Its components include:
- a close-coupled NOx storage catalytic converter for reducing nitrogen oxides
- a DPF (diesel particulate filter with special coating for reducing also the amount of nitrogen oxides)
- an SCR catalytic converter (selective catalytic reduction with metered injected quantity of AdBlue) and
- an additional SCR catalytic converter in the vehicle’s underbody, with a separately metered injected quantity of AdBlue
Four-cylinder petrol engine also with a second-generation ISG
The four-cylinder M 254 petrol engine with a second-generation starter-generator with an additional output of up to 15 kW and 200 Nm more torque is also celebrating its première in the C-Class. Thanks to energy recovery and the ability to “glide” with the engine switched off, the petrol engine is highly efficient. In the M 254, Mercedes-Benz has for the first time combined all the innovations of the modular engine family of four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel units in a single engine. They include NANOSLIDE cylinder coating, CONICSHAPE cylinder honing (trumpet honing) and the exhaust aftertreatment system positioned directly at the engine.
A completely new feature is the segment charger with flow connection, an advancement of the twin-scroll technology for even more instantaneous response of the forced induction system. The completely newly developed segment turbocharger is a result of cooperation between Mercedes-Benz turbocharger developers and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. The technology transfer to series production sets new standards with respect to power combined with maximum efficiency. For short periods, the output of the C 300 can additionally be increased by up to 20 kW overboost.
Transmission: Automatic now standard across the board
The 9G-TRONIC transmission was developed further for adapting the ISG, and is installed in all C-Class models. The electric motor, power electronics and transmission cooler have now moved into or to the transmission. Previously required lines are eliminated, which offers advantages with regard to installation space and weight. In addition, the efficiency of the transmission has been increased. Amongst other things, the optimised interplay with the electric auxiliary oil pump reduces the delivery rate of the mechanical pump by 30 percent compared with the predecessor – good for efficiency. Furthermore, it uses a new generation of the fully integrated transmission control with multi-core processor and new design and connectivity technology. In addition to the increased computing power, the number of electric interfaces has been drastically reduced, and the weight of the transmission controls have been cut by 30 percent compared with the predecessor.
The 4MATIC drive system of the all-wheel drive models has been advanced. The new front-axle drive allows higher torque levels to be transferred with an ideal axle load distribution for driving dynamics. Moreover, this has a significant weight advantage compared to the corresponding component in the preceding series – a contribution to CO2 reduction. The technicians were also able to reduce the friction losses in the new transfer case. In addition, it also a closed oil circuit, and requires no additional cooling measures.
Source: Mercedes-Benz AG