The new C-Class will be launched in spring 2011 and is a comprehensive modernization. The front and rear sections of the best-selling model have a more striking design. There is now a high-resolution color display screen in the instrument cluster as well as an elegant new dashboard with grained surface. Fuel consumption has been improved by up to 31 per cent. Efficiency-enhancing measures including new engines, the improved 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission and the Eco start/stop function. Ten new driving assistance systems ranging from the standard Attention Assist drowsiness detection system to the optional Distronic Plus proximity control system are also now available for this model for the first time.
More than 2000 new components distinguish the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from its predecessor. The C-Class is the highest-selling model series for Mercedes-Benz. The current series has found well over one million buyers worldwide since its launch in March 2007.
Since the introduction of the first C-Class in 1982 (then known as the model 190), Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 8.5 million vehicles in this segment. In 2010, the C-Class has repeatedly won top places in the registration statistics.
For the facelifted model, the front bumper has more expressive and dynamic contours, with the front section being brought in line with the brand's new design idiom.
The radiator grille surround is now more prominent. The central air intake opens out upwards in a V-shape, forming a visual base unit for the radiator grille. Pronounced side sections extend from the sporty V-shape at the centre of the bumper. Continuing beneath the headlamps, these sections blend into the feature lines along the vehicle flanks, linking the front section with the sides. The side air inlets in the bumper are positioned low down, giving the car a more road-hugging appearance.
The Sedan and Wagon now have a new aluminum hood, which contributes to weight reduction and therefore fuel efficiency. Its contour in the area of the headlamps and radiator grille emphasizes the V-shape of the front section more than before. In conjunction with the new headlamps, this gives the front section a more resolute impression.
In the case of the rear bumper, the light-catching contours and dividing lines have been modified to emphasize the width of the car more strongly. This change is particularly obvious in the more steeply rising course of the side light-catching contours towards the tail lights.
A continuous light-catching contour at the upper end of the rear bumper extends into the flanks to connect the rear end with the sides to emphasize the sporty character of the rear aspect.
In the latest model, the tail lights are even more neatly integrated into the rear section by a continuous covering lens. The characteristic surface meander is now on the inside of the light, and reminiscent of preceding model series. The particular impression of depth is achieved by a centrally located LED indicator, which appears to float in front of the red upper and lower light bands with their more deeply set LEDs. The tail lights have a particularly high recognition factor in the dark.
The aerodynamics of the C-Class are a mark of the bodyshell's efficiency. With a Cd figure of 0.26 it not only sets the benchmark in its class, but also glides through the wind better than most compact cars with its drag area of Cd x A = 0.57sqm.
The main focus of the interior restyling ws on the dashboard with its integrated screen and new surface grain. The touch surfaces of the controls are now also more finely detailed and galvanized.
A stepped extension to the instrument cluster now also accommodates the central display. The instrument cluster and a discreet light-catching contour continue into the front passenger side while the central, trapezoidal air vents and the round vents on the outside are highlighted in detail by galvanized trim.
The large section of trim is an important part of the new dashboard. This extends from the center air vents across the front passenger side to the outer air vent, while the lower edge of the upper dashboard section continues into the beltlines of the door panels with a new surface grain.
The control panel of the new-generation communication and information unit has keys with high-gloss surface inserts. The combination of keys, high-gloss areas and a new knurled wheel design accentuates the enhanced interior. In conjunction with the new generation telematics generation, the C-Class is now available with a high-resolution color display in the instrument cluster.
With its new engines, an improvement of up to 31 per cent has been achieved in fuel consumption, and all European C-Class launch models will feature the Eco start/stop function as standard. All the engine variants are now classed as BlueEfficiency units, showing that they are particularly efficient and environmentally compatible in their use of fuel.
In future all automatic versions will feature the further-developed 7G-TronicPlus seven-speed automatic transmission. In addition, the overall ratio of all new powertrain variants has been optimized for better fuel economy.
All the gasoline engines in the model series have direct injection. One of the highlights is the introduction of the new V6 engine with its innovative and highly efficient BlueDirect process in the C 350 BlueEfficiency. The quantum leap in efficiency is particularly well illustrated by the six-cylinder unit: Power has increased considerably, the C 350 BlueEfficiency delivering 306hp (previously 292 hp).
The four-cylinder gasoline engines, which made a great evolutionary leap forward?in 2009 and all feature direct injection and turbocharging and excel with high performance and exemplary economy.
The most economical model in the Mercedes C-Class range has also become even more frugal: the C 220 CDI BlueEfficiency with the manual six-speed transmission and the standard Eco start/stop function.
The new C-Class also sees the debut of a new telematics generation which will also be gradually introduced in other model series. Major new features include greater operating convenience, larger displays, telephone directory transfer, display of SMS messages, wireless music reproduction via Bluetooth and a USB interface now accommodated in the centre armrest.
The multimedia system Comand Online now provides internet access for the first time (via the customers data-enabled phone). When the car is stationary, customers are able to browse freely or surf to a Mercedes-Benz Online service whose pages load particularly rapidly and are also easy to use while on the move. The integrated services include weather information and a special destination search via Google, as well as the option of downloading a route that has been previously configured on a PC using Google Maps and sent to the car. The navigation system of Comand Online has further added functions.
Also new: routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be imported via an SD card and four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation.
As a first in the C-Class, the Becker® Map Pilot makes a low-cost navigation function, which can also be retrofitted, available for the entry-level Audio 20 CD radio. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls and the Audio 20 display, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.