The secret of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class’s success is partly down to the wide model range, also including two sporty two-door versions: the coupé launched at the end of 2015 and the cabriolet available since the summer of 2016 address the heart and mind in equal measure. The design of the vehicles is one of the main reasons for purchasing in Europe. Both models are produced at the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant.
Shortly after the saloon and estate, the two-door models too are benefiting from extensive revisions. The most important enhancements at a glance:
Other advantages include gliding mode with the engine switched off, and the recuperative brake with intelligent engine stop when the vehicle is coasting: recuperation only begins with overrun cut-off when braking. When the speed falls below a certain minimum level, the powertrain is decoupled and the engine is switched off. This has the advantage of maximum fuel savings through recuperation together with comfortable vehicle response.
The exhaust gas turbocharger uses a twin-scroll system. CAMTRONIC variable valve timing is also on board. This allows two-stage adjustment of the valve lift on the intake side.
In-engine measures to reduce friction round off the efficiency strategy of the new four-cylinder power unit. These include the Mercedes-Benz patented CONICSHAPE® process, known in-house as conical honing: When form-honing the cylinder walls, the cylinder wall is opened out slightly towards the bottom, so as to reduce friction at the piston skirt for lower wear and fuel consumption.
Alongside the diesel engines, the petrol engines are also equipped with a particulate filter in Europe.
State-of-the-art diesel: C 220 d
The new C 220 d opens up new efficiency dimensions and offers improved performance. The model has been certified in accordance with the latest Euro 6d-TEMP standard. In this diesel engine Mercedes-Benz uses the “step recess” combustion process – named after the shape of the combustion case in the piston. The innovations also include the combination of an aluminium engine block and steel pistons, as well as the further-improved NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder walls.
Despite having a lower displacement than its predecessor, reduced to just under two litres, and weighing around 16 percent less, the new diesel powerplant (OM 654) in the C 220 d has an output of 143 kW (194 hp), 18 kW more than the previous engine, and delivers an NEDC combined consumption of 4.9-4.6 (cabriolet: 5.1-4.8) litres per 100 kilometres. This is equivalent to CO2 emissions of 130-121 (136-126) grams per kilometre. Alongside optimised airflow on the intake and exhaust sides and the use of fourth-generation common-rail injection with pressures up to 2050 bar, the fuel saving is due to a reduction in internal friction by around 25 percent. On top of this, the engine is also more compact than its predecessor.
All components relevant for efficient emissions reduction are installed directly on the engine. Through the near-engine configuration the exhaust gas aftertreatment quickly reaches its operating temperature and has low heat loss for efficient emission reduction even at low outside temperatures.
Mercedes-AMG: More performance for the C43
With a multitude of carefully coordinated measures the AMG developers have enhanced the vehicle dynamics even further. The 3.0-litre V6 engine now develops 287 kW (390 hp), i.e. 17 kW (23 hp) more than before. The peak torque of 520 Nm is available in a wide engine speed range from 2500 to 5000 rpm. The new C43 4MATIC Coupé accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, and the Cabriolet in 4.8 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
4MATIC all-wheel drive: Traction even in difficult road conditions
On market launch the C 200 is available with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive for improved traction and driving stability, especially in adverse road conditions. The 4MATIC has an active all-wheel torque distribution of 45 % to the front and 55 % to the rear. As ever, the combination of the ESP® driving dynamics control system with the 4ETS electronic traction system makes regular differential locks superfluous. This saves weight and noticeably improves handling safety as well as ride comfort.
The all-wheel drive is standard equipment for the Mercedes-AMG C43, and features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear axle split of 31 to 69 percent.
Individual driving experience thanks to DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL
The optional DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL suspension is equipped with continuous adjustable damping for the front and rear axle. The stepless system controls the damping characteristics individually for each wheel as it interacts with the engine, transmission and steering properties – to suit the driving situation, speed and condition of the road surface.
The individual suspension setup can be determined in three stages via the DYNAMIC SELECT switch: the damping characteristics are tuned more tautly in the two stages “Sport” and “Sport+”. The “Comfort” mode is more comfortably tuned, unevenness is levelled out better and road roar and tyre vibration characteristics are tangibly improved.
In conjunction with DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL the vehicle is equipped with a Sports Direct-Steer system. This combines a variable ratio dependent on the steering angle for highly precise, agile reactions, with speed-dependent electromechanical power assistance for pleasantly smooth handling.
More dynamic design and LED High Performance headlamps as standard
The new-look Mercedes-Benz C-Class combines emotionality with intelligence. The vehicle’s appearance is defined in particular by its front and tail end and the design of the headlamps and tail lights.
The front design exudes sportiness and lifestyle at first glance. Powerful styling elements such as the new bumper and the standard-fit diamond radiator grille lend the two-door C-Class models an individual character. The standard-fit LED High Performance headlamps are now standard and in their new design they have an especially distinctive appearance. For the first time in this model series, MULTIBEAM LED headlamps with ULTRA RANGE high beam are additionally available (see below for details).
Due to the autonomous design with the dynamic details and standard-fit two-pipe exhaust system (petrol engines) the rear view appears broad and agile. A particular highlight both day and night are the revised, more accentuated all-LED rear lamps.
The sporty design features are heightened with the AMG Line. For example, the AMG Line exterior includes the diamond radiator grille with pins in chrome plus an AMG-specific front apron with new geometry, sporty air intakes and its chromed trim element. The exterior with the Night Package, available for the cabriolet for the first time, sports an even more athletic look with its black design features. These include the black trim elements in the AMG front apron and the AMG rear apron plus exterior mirror housings painted in high-gloss black. A particular highlight both day and night are the redesigned, more accentuated all-LED rear lamps.
The colour spectrum has been broadened with the AMG Line. New colours are mojave silver metallic and – exclusively for the coupé and cabriolet – graphite grey.
Digital cockpit and lounge ambience
The sporty interior with its autonomous integral-look seats is characterised by further-enhanced perceived quality and flowing shapes and the facelift takes it into the digital era.
The centre console is characterised by an elegant flowing trim element – optionally with new materials: open-pore brown walnut or open-pore anthracite oak. Magma grey/black are available as new interior colours.
The KEYLESS-GO starting function is standard. The start/stop button comes in a new turbine-look design. The vehicle key also features a new design. Customers have a choice between three variants here: black with high-gloss chrome surround, white with chrome surround or high-gloss white with matt chrome surround.
On the cabriolet the soft top can be operated from the outside with the vehicle key and the “Open/Close” buttons.
An eye on the future: fully digital instrument display available as an option
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a new display concept which includes an optional, fully-digital instrument cluster with the three visually distinguishable styles “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive”.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel. They respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. They enable the driver to control the functions of the instrument cluster and of the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off 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. Vehicle functions such as the seat heating can now also be voice controlled. The optional head-up display is now adjustable over an even wider range.
Future-oriented assistance systems on a par with the S-Class
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class features the latest Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems offering the driver cooperative support, and therefore provides a higher level of active safety than its predecessor. The C-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation: improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 500 m ahead. The vehicle’s surroundings are scanned by radar across a distance of up to 250 m to the front, 40 m to the sides and 80 m to the rear, while with the camera a range of up to 500 m is possible to the front, including 90 m in 3D.
The C-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Control DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance Package is able to give the driver map-based support in numerous situations, 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 new C-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, this can help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slow-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or prevent them altogether.
MULTIBEAM LED headlamps: Optimum visibility in all conditions
MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are new and available on request in the coupé and cabriolet. 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.
New functions in comparison to the standard-fit LED Intelligent Light System System (19 LEDs per headlamp) are junction light, roundabout light, city light and bad-weather light.
In high-beam mode, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus enables continuous long-range illumination of the road ahead without dazzling oncoming traffic. When no other road user is detected, the road ahead is straight and the vehicle speed is above 40 km/h, ULTRA RANGE high beam is switched on automatically. This produces the maximum light intensity permitted by law, which results in the brightness of the main beam headlamps only falling below the reference value of 1 lux after a distance of more than 650 metres. When there are oncoming vehicles or vehicles ahead, the LEDs of the main beam modules are partially switched off, masking out a U-shaped area of the light beam. The other areas of the road continue to be illuminated with the high beam (partial high beam). The ULTRA RANGE high beams are always active only if high beam mode has been manually switched on.
ENERGIZING comfort control: wellness at the press of a button
ENERGIZING comfort control (optional) links various comfort systems in the vehicle. It systematically uses the functions of the air conditioning system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation) 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.
Depending on the equipment level, up to six programmes are available (Freshness, Vitality, Warmth, Cosiness, Joy, Training). The programmes all run for ten minutes. They are visualised in the central display with colour graphics, and backed by suitable music. Five songs are already stored in the programme. The key function in the “Vitality” program, for example, is fast music with many beats per minute. If personal music selections are available, e.g. via the Media Interface, the system analyses them in the background and assigns them to a program based on the beats per minute (bpm). Individual functions of the programmes can be deactivated.
ENERGIZING comfort control also incorporates ambience lighting, which is harmoniously tailored to each of the individual screen designs. With 64 colours, the optional extended ambience lighting offers a wealth of individual settings.
The multimedia systems: Tailor-made information and music offerings
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes as standard with the Audio 20 multimedia system featuring two USB ports, an SD card reader, Bluetooth® connection and media interface.
The latest-generation COMAND Online available as optional equipment offers fast 3D hard-disc navigation with topographical map display, photo-realistic 3D buildings and 3D map rotations. Comprehensive information is displayed on the navigation map: in addition to real-time traffic density information it can e.g. include Car-to-X warning messages, the weather, filling stations including current fuel prices and free parking spaces.
With the Concierge service (available as a subscription service), Mercedes me connect customers have a host of individual services at their disposal: from making restaurant reservations and obtaining tips about tourist routes, to gathering information on cultural or sporting events and sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle.
Anti-theft alarm system: Also recognises parking damage and sends a message
Another new feature is the automatic notification by text message if the vehicle suffers an impact caused by another vehicle when parked, or is towed away. The highly sensitive sensors of the optional “Anti-theft alarm system (ATA)” can detect such situations and immediately send a “push notification” message to the Mercedes me App. As soon as the customer starts the vehicle again, he/she is also informed by a corresponding message in display of the COMAND Online multimedia system. In the Mercedes me App and in the COMAND Online display, the customer is also shown when (at what time) and where (e.g. front left) the impact occurred. This optional equipment includes the new sensors and the corresponding software; the service will go live in the second quarter of 2018.
Mobility with the digital key: The C-Class uses NFC technology
The optional digital vehicle key uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to turn the customer’s smartphone into a vehicle key. Not every smartphone has an NFC interface that complies with Mercedes-Benz security standards. But for the new C-Class, and initially in Germany, there is a special digital vehicle key sticker with a built-in microcontroller. Customers can order this sticker from the Mercedes me portal. Delivery is through a Mercedes-Benz sales partner.
With the digital vehicle key sticker, which the user can put on the back of their smartphone, for instance, the vehicle can be opened, locked and started without the driver even touching it. To start the engine, the driver simply needs to place the smartphone with the sticker in the centre console stowage tray. Mobile devices corresponding to the Qi standard can be charged conveniently while on the move with the optional wireless charging system. The charging surface in the quick stowage tray at the front of the centre console is also suitable for large smartphones. This function also includes multifunction telephony, which additionally pairs the smartphone with the vehicle’s exterior aerial. This equips the vehicle for the best possible telephone connections and data transfer.
An additional sound system is now optionally available. With nine speakers and an output of 225 W (2 x Frontbass with 50 W, remaining five channels each with 25 W), it is positioned between the standard sound system and the Burmester® surround sound system.