The new Mercedes C-Class embodies a delightful paradox: the feeling of being welcomed home to the familiar, yet home is now an even more digital and efficient world. In all respects, the C-Class creates a future-proof comfort zone in a time of worldwide transformation.
Plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids with 48-volt technology and an integrated starter-generator mean the new C-Class is electrified throughout. Unprecedented in this category, the C-Class achieves an electric range of about 100 kilometres as a plug-in hybrid. This is due to a high-efficiency battery system.
It also sets standards for sustainability. Because the C-Class is one of the company’s highest-volume model series, systematic electrification has a correspondingly strong effect on Mercedes’ carbon footprint.
The Saloon and Estate models launch together.
Design of the Mercedes C-Class
The new C-Class has a sensual purity with a sporty and elegant touch.
“We have created the most stylish and exclusive C-Class ever, applying our company’s style of ‘Sensual Purity’. We create desire through the aesthetic beauty of sensuous surfaces, perfect sporty proportions, and an extraordinary ambience in the interior,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler Group.
With its dynamic proportions it appears to be in motion even while standing still. The combination of a short front overhang, long wheelbase and rear overhang combine to express movement. The power-domed bonnet accentuates this sensation of forward motion. The “cab-backward” design places the windscreen and passenger cell more to the rear of the vehicle, giving the nose a longer, sleeker look.
The preceding C-Class model was already a great step forward in terms of high-value appeal in the interior, and the new C-Class takes it even further, adopting some sporty highlights from the new S-Class.
When viewed from the side, the elaborately sculptured surfaces create unique, sensual light effects. On the other hand, the designers have reduced lines to a minimum, which accentuates the shoulder line even more.
In the Estate model, the progressive roof line and inclined rear window adds a masculine touch without functional compromises. The wide track and the flush 17- to 19-inch wheels also add to the sporty, superior appearance.
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 tail lamps have an unmistakable day and night appearance and, for the first time in the C-Class, have a two-piece design, with the light functions divided between the side wall and boot lid lamps.
The range sports three new paint finishes – spectral blue, high-tech silver and opalite white.
A wing-like section with flattened round vents reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles and an opulent expanse of trim form the upper and lower parts of the dashboard. The dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver. This driver-focus adds to the sportiness.
The driver area features a free-standing high-resolution LCD screen. It appears to float in front of the wing profile and trim and is a clear departure from the classic round dials.
The paradigm shift to digitisation is also evident in the central display: the the high-quality touch screen can control vehicle functions. Interestingly, it has a portrait orientation, which is particularly useful for navigation. The touchscreen likewise appears to float above the expanse of trim and tilts slightly towards the driver.
The driver display and media display offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. Drivers can individualise the look of the screens 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.
Other Tech Highlights
“After its introduction in the S-Class, the second generation of MBUX [Mercedes-Benz User Experience] already débuts in new C-Class. All the possibilities for intuitive operation and personalisation have been adopted, plus driver-orientation as a new feature specific to the model series,” says Georges Massing, Senior Manager Digital Vehicle and Mobility, Mercedes-Benz AG.
Tech highlights include:
- “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant – more interactive and capable of learning
- The MBUX Smart Home – makes the C-Class a mobile control centre for the home
- “Online Music” service – fully integrated major music streaming services
- “Over-the-air” (OTA) MBUX updates
- Augmented Video – optional equipment
- A fingerprint scanner – log into MBUX quickly, conveniently and securely
The Powertrain of the Mercedes C-Class
Thanks to systematic electrification and intelligent downsizing, the new C-Class sets new standards in efficiency.
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.
Diesel and Petrol
The new OM 654 M diesel engine is the first with an integrated second-generation starter-generator (ISG). It spearheads the efficiency improvement measures.
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.
Transmission is now automatic across the board. Developed further for adapting the ISG, the 9G-TRONIC transmission is installed in all C-Class models.
Fourth-generation plug-in hybrids will follow soon after the launch. Electrification is taking a great step forward while using the same base engines. With an electric output of 95 kW (129 hp) and an all-electric range of around 100 kilometres (WLTP), the plug-in hybrid C-Class will operate in all-electric mode in many cases – and on many days without using the combustion engine at all.
Driving the Mercedes C-Class
All in all, the driving experience is significantly more electric. In view of the increase in electric range to around 100 kilometres, drivers will be able to cover most everyday journeys under electric power alone. The energy recovery function allows kinetic energy to be recuperated during deceleration or downhill driving. This process has now also been improved in interaction with the hydraulic brake.
The new C-Class is especially agile and stable with the optional rear-axle steering and the accompanying, more direct steering ratio at the front axle. The steering angle at the rear axle is 2.5 degrees. This reduces the turning circle by 43 centimetres to 10.64 metres.
The Mercedes C-Class is top class
The list of advancements in the technology, comfort and performance of the new Mercedes C-Class goes on. We encourage our readers to book a test drive when the new C-Class becomes available towards the end of 2021.
“Our customers have always loved the C-Class, because it has always been top with regard to comfort and technology as well as to spaciousness and design. That is substantiated by over 10.5 million units sold since 1982. With the latest edition, we are taking the next logical step on our road to the digital and sustainable future with a host of innovations and cutting-edge digital elements. Be it the Saloon or the Estate model – our customers have the possibility to customise the C-Class in order to turn it into a personal comfort zone, says Britta Seeger, Member of the Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG Boards of Management, Marketing & Sales.