Sensuous clarity and purist forms
High-class interior with fine details
The body-in-white of the new C-Class provides an innovative basis for reduced weight, outstanding rigidity, including introduction rigidity for excellent handling, combined with optimum noise and vibration characteristics and a high level of crash safety. Thanks to intelligent and innovative lightweight construction, the aluminum hybrid body is around 154 lbs lighter than a conventional steel body. The vehicle's overall weight is even reduced by around 200 lbs. This spawns numerous benefits: the lightweight construction of the new C-Class cuts fuel consumption considerably without any loss of performance, while at the same time enabling a lower center of gravity, which in turn gives rise to the vehicle's noticeably sporty and agile handling. Mercedes-Benz achieves this feat of lightweight construction by various measures, including a completely new structural design and the use of an unusually high proportion of aluminum for a mass-produced range. The share of aluminum has risen compared with the successful predecessor from under 10 percent to almost 50 percent. In keeping with Mercedes-Benz traditions, the body is designed for exemplary crash safety. As a result, the Sedan complies not only with all current national laws but also with all rating requirements, as well as meeting the more stringent internal Mercedes-Benz safety standards based on what actually happens during accidents. A high-strength safety passenger compartment forms the core of this concept. It is surrounded by specifically configured and field-tested deformation zones which ensure maximum safety for the occupants by virtue of optimized force paths and a combination of aluminum castings and ultra-high-strength materials. An outer skin consisting almost completely of aluminum provides a protective shell for the body.
Robust yet lightweight bodyshell
Low drag is crucial to achieving outstanding efficiency. From a speed of just under 43 mph, aerodynamic drag exceeds the sum total of all other driving resistance factors. As such, drag constitutes a major parameter in efforts to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The wind noise level, which was already low in the preceding generation of the C-Class, has been lowered further. The engineers have also devoted painstaking attention to optimizing other potential sources of disturbance which may have an adverse effect on the driver's and passengers' well-being and concentration, even though they may not consciously notice the effects. NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) is the technical term for such nuisance factors. The specialists have optimized the noise characteristics of the interior blower, the power windows, the seat adjustment functions and many other actuation and operating noises, for example. As a result, the new C-Class occupies a benchmark position in its segment.
Leading the field in aerodynamics and quiet running
Smooth automatic gear shifting is provided by the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, which has undergone further development at Mercedes-Benz in the interests of enhanced environment-friendliness and driving pleasure. The 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive system serves to improve traction and driving stability in the C-Class, too, while additionally underscoring the vehicle's refined sportiness.
Optimized drive train
The suspension on the new C-Class is a totally new development. It provides for nimble and agile handling that makes driving a great pleasure on winding roads while also offering the highest standard of ride comfort in the segment. A newly designed 4-link front axle plays a major part in the agile handling characteristics. Thanks to the 4-link principle, the front independent suspension is fully decoupled from the spring strut. The resultant favorable axle kinematics allow for more grip and higher lateral stability. As a result, the suspension responds more sensitively to steering movements and allows a sporty, agile driving style. An optimized multi-link independent rear suspension with 5-link concept ensures unsurpassed wheel location qualities and supreme straight-line stability. The new C-Class Sedan is fitted as standard with a steel suspension. In the United States, customers have the choice amongst three suspensions: ◾a comfortable yet sporty base suspension ◾a sports suspension lowered by .6 inches as part of the optional Sport Package ◾a comfort suspension as part of the optional Luxury Package
Suspension – sporty yet comfortable
Alternatively, the new C-Class is the first vehicle in its segment that can be fitted with an air suspension (AIRMATIC) on the front and rear axles. Thanks to electronically controlled, continuous variable damping at the front and rear, it offers outstanding road roar and tire vibration characteristics even with the vehicle loaded. The driver can use the AGILITY SELECT switch to choose between the various characteristics: 'Comfort', 'ECO', 'Sport' and 'Sport+.' The additional 'Individual' option enables drivers to configure their vehicle according to their own wishes. AIRMATIC also features all-round self-leveling for optimum ride comfort even when the vehicle is loaded. The new C-Class also comes with an electric parking brake as standard.
First air suspension in this category
All models of the C-Class family will feature the electromechanical Direct Steer system as standard. This combines road-speed-dependent power assistance from the speed-sensitive power steering system with a steering ratio which varies according to the given steering angle. The power steering assistance provided by the rack and pinion steering gear is controlled on-demand, thereby contributing towards efficiency.
Steering with a sporty character
It is the declared aim of Mercedes-Benz to make the highest standard of safety available to everyone. To this end, the new C-Class incorporates almost all of the new assistance systems with a host of enhanced functions which celebrated their world premiere in the S-Class and E-Class only a few months ago. The assistance systems enhance both comfort and safety. Mercedes-Benz calls this Intelligent Drive. The new C-Class offers numerous innovative safety and assistance systems. It is fitted as standard with ATTENTION ASSIST, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness. On highways, the optional COMAND system navigation function flags up nearby break options as stopovers, providing the system has been specified in the vehicle. The ATTENTION ASSIST function offers an adjustable level of sensitivity and can inform the driver in a separate view in the instrument cluster about their level of drowsiness and how long they have been driving since their last break. In addition to Adaptive Brake Assist, which offers protection from collisions from speeds as low as 4 mph, standard-fit COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS also features an additional function: when a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 124 mph, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 31 mph, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at speeds of up to 25 mph. New assistance systems and existing assistance systems with a host of enhanced functions from the new S-Class and E-Class are also optionally available, combining data from various sensor technologies as part of the Intelligent Drive concept to enhance comfort and safety substantially: ◾DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist is a semi-automatic traffic jam assistant which at speeds under 37 mph is able to follow the vehicle ahead even where lane markings are unclear or completely lacking, thus providing a safe and convenient means of following the flow of traffic. ◾The BAS PLUS Brake Assist System can now also detect crossing traffic and boost the braking force if the driver fails to apply the brakes sufficiently; the PRE-SAFE® Brake can detect stationary vehicles as well as pedestrians, brake automatically if the driver fails to react, thus preventing accidents up to 31 mph and mitigating the severity of collisions at speeds of up to 45 mph. In flowing traffic the PRE-SAFE® Brake provides assistance according to the same mode of operation throughout the speed range from 4 to 124 mph. ◾Enhanced Active Lane Keeping Assist can now also prevent the vehicle from unintentionally drifting out of lane when broken lane markings apply and a risk of a collision arises, e.g. as a result of vehicles overtaking at high speed, parallel traffic or even oncoming traffic, by applying the brakes on one side. The numerous assistance systems also includeActive Parking Assist, which enables automated parking with active steering and brake intervention in both parallel and end-on parking spaces.
Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive: The intelligent car
In addition to 3-point seat belts with pyrotechnical belt tensioning and belt force limitation for the driver, the front passenger and those in the outer rear seats, numerous airbags serve to protect the vehicle's occupants in an accident. These include: ◾Pelvis bags for driver and front passenger ◾a newly developed window bag ◾side bags for the outer rear seats ◾a knee bag for the driver The front passenger seat is fitted as standard with automatic child seat recognition, which dispenses with the previous transponder in favor of a weight mat. This enables any child seat to be used. The airbag is automatically deactivated when a child seat is fitted and reactivated once it has been removed.
Airbags for safety
Mercedes-Benz has undertaken systematic further development and substantial improvement of the air conditioning system in the new C-Class. This applies in particular to the control quality, performance, efficiency and air quality. The new C-Class is also the only vehicle in the segment to offer tunnel detection via satellite navigation. It uses the map information from the navigation system and the GPS location data to close the air recirculation flap automatically when the vehicle enters a tunnel, subsequently re-opening it when the vehicle emerges from the tunnel. Another highlight contributing to a feel-good atmosphere is the AIR-BALANCE package with active fragrancing, air ionization and more efficient filtration than is available on the standard model.
Air conditioning: signals from space
A completely new multimedia generation offers intuitive operation in the new C-Class, featuring elaborate animations and visual effects which present all the functions in a clear and highly attractive manner. The new C-Class is also equipped with the unique Frontbass system. This avant-garde acoustic system uses the space within the cross-member and side member in the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers to conjure up a listening experience almost on a par with a concert hall. A Burmester® surround sound system is optionally available. The navigation system presents its contents in interactive mode. Its features include an animated compass, a 'Drive Show' with information for passengers similar to the on-screen presentations on board airplanes and Google Maps displayed on the head unit.
COMAND offers a larger display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and a special bonded glass cover such as is familiar from consumer devices like the iPhone or iPad. The new C-Class will also include mbrace2 connected car technology, including the available option to have over twenty Mercedes-Benz Apps integrated into the COMAND system.