BOX 5, Westhoven, 2142
Cape Town. A new type of comfort zone is here to challenge the status quo. The 6th generation C-Class boasts luxurious comfort, minimalist design, and innovative assistance systems. There’s no stopping the global success story that is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Since its introduction in 1982, with the launch of the so-called ‘Baby Benz’ 190, more than 10.5 million C-Class vehicles have been sold in more than 100 markets around the world.
The new C-Class is manufactured in Mercedes-Benz Cars production plants in Bremen, Beijing, and East London. R13 billion has already been invested in numerous upgrades at the East London plant in preparation for the production of the new model, providing a major boost to the local automotive industry. Mark Raine, President of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa says the fact that East London is one of three global manufacturing plants for the new C-Class is an unparalleled success story for the local industry.
Bigger, better, sleeker
“The new C-Class is a sporty interpretation of modern luxury. It combines dynamic proportions with accentuated design lines and a modern look. I am entirely confident that the new C-Class will excite existing customers and future fans with its wide range of high-tech and superior features derived from the flagship S-Class”, said Raine.
The new C-Class features a dynamic exterior design and a sumptuous interior that takes inspiration from the flagship S-Class and sets new standards in efficiency. “The new C-Class will be launched into the South Africa market initially with the C200 and C220d engine derivatives, both sporting four-cylinder units from the current modular FAME (Family of Modular Engines) Mercedes-Benz engine family,” said Selvin Govender, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Mercedes-Benz Cars. The C200 boasts power delivery of 150kw and 300Nm of torque, while the C220d delivers 147kw and 440Nm of Torque. The C220d achieves combined fuel consumption of 4.4l – 5.2l/100km and the C200 achieves combined fuel consumption of 6.3l – 7.2l/100km.
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 new C-Class is considerably larger than its predecessor, with a length of 4751 mm and a width of 1820 mm. The wheelbase has increased by 25 mm to 2865 mm, with both the front and rear passengers benefiting from the increased exterior dimensions.
The sporty bonnet with power domes accentuates this urge of forward motion. The designers have reduced lines to a minimum, which accentuates the so-called catwalk line or shoulder line even more.
DIGITAL LIGHT: extremely powerful with optional projection functions
The new C-Class is equipped with LED High-Performance headlamps as standard. DIGITAL LIGHT has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs in each headlamp, whose light is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors. The resolution is, therefore, more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle.
With these dynamics and precision, this intelligent system creates virtually endless possibilities for high-resolution light distribution which optimally adjusts to the surrounding conditions. However, the deciding factor is not only the technology in the headlamp but rather the digital intelligence behind it. On-board cameras and sensor systems detect other road users, powerful computers evaluate the data plus digital navigation maps in milliseconds and give the headlamps the commands for optimally adapting the light distribution in all situations. The result: an optimal vision for the driver without dazzling other road users, as well as innovative functions with added safety. “DIGITAL LIGHT” is not chasing world distance records, but rather wants to achieve excellent visibility and maximum, dazzle-free brilliance at all times through an innovative overall concept. Innovative functions for supporting the driver and enabling communication with other road users significantly improve safety when driving at night.
DIGITAL LIGHT with projection function is available as an option. This system can make driving safer with the following features:
The Avantgarde Line, which is a market standard, is equipped with an 18inch wheel, with further options available in 18inch or 19inch configurations. The optional AMG line is equipped with a 19inch wheel as a standard, with an additional option available in19inch configuration.
Interior design: sporty touches thanks to the driver-centered design
The interior adopts many highlights from the new S-Class.
One of these features is 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 the standard 10.25-inch (26.0 cm) or an optional 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 11.9 inches or 30.2 cm as a market standard.
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.
Rear-axle steering: more agile and dynamic
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 centimeters to 10.64 meters.
The driver also needs fewer turns of the steering wheel for full lock. With rear-axle steering, and depending on the drive concept, this requires 2.1 instead of 2.35 turns (rear-wheel drive with comfort steering
At speeds below 60 km/h, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels – and up to 2.5° opposite to the front-axle angle during parking. Depending on the situation, this virtually shortens the wheelbase, and the vehicle is more maneuverable, light-footed, and agile as a result. At speeds above 60 km/h, the rear wheels steer up to 2.5° in the same direction as the front wheels. This virtual increase in wheelbase has noticeable advantages in the form of improved handling stability and safety at high speeds, during fast lane changes, or sudden evasive maneuvers.
Moreover, considerably less steering input is required during dynamic maneuvers, e.g. when driving on country roads – and the vehicle responds to steering movements in a more sporty manner. This is supported by the integrated dynamic control function of the ESP®.
The latest generation of MBUX: intuitively operated and learning
Like the new S-Class, the new C-Class is equipped with the second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). The vehicle interior becomes even more digital and intelligent, as both the hardware and software have made great strides: Brilliant images on the LCD screens make it easy to control vehicle and comfort functions.
The driver display and media display offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. The information is presented in a clear structured way. Mercedes-Benz developed a new display aesthetic for the S-Class, which now is systematically used as the basis for other models.
The look of the screens can be individualised with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service).
The full-screen navigation was adopted from the S-Class and gives the driver the best possible guidance on a journey.
Hey Mercedes: the increasingly sharp voice assistant
The voice assistant “Hey Mercedes” becomes more interactive and capable of learning by activating online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword “Hey Mercedes”. These include taking a telephone call. “Hey Mercedes” also explains vehicle functions, and, for example, can help when asked how to connect a smartphone by Bluetooth or where the first-aid kit can be found. “Hey Mercedes” is also able to recognise the vehicle occupants by their voices.
Augmented Video is available as optional equipment. A camera registers the surroundings in front of the vehicle. The moving images are shown on the central display. In addition, virtual objects, information, and markers are superimposed on the video image. These include e.g. traffic signs, directional arrows, lane-change recommendations, and house numbers. This can make navigation much easier, especially in urban areas.
A colour head-up display can be ordered as optional equipment. The driver sees a virtual image measuring 29.5 inches floating above the bonnet at a distance of about 4.5 m.
A fingerprint scanner is located in an ergonomic position below the central display. This allows users to log into MBUX quickly, conveniently, and securely. The reason is that personal settings and data such as favourites, most recent destinations, behaviour-based predictions, business calendar entries, or emails are protected. Payment processes via Mercedes me is also reserved for authenticated users.
“Over-the-air” (OTA) updates: The software is always kept up-to-date
As soon as a new update from Mercedes-Benz becomes available, a message appears in MBUX. The update is downloaded and installed in the background. The user then has to agree explicitly to its activation again. In this way, the vehicle is always up-to-date. Features that have not even been invented yet can also be installed using OTA updates in vehicles already sold. To transfer the data, Mercedes-Benz relies on mobile communications technology and the communication module installed in the vehicle due to the high-security standard.
Driving assistance: support in hazardous situations
Compared to the previous C-Class series, the latest generation of the Driving Assistance Systems has additional and advanced functions. These reduce driver workload in day-to-day situations, for more comfortable and safe driving. When danger threatens, the assistance systems can respond to impending collisions as the situation demands.
Powertrain: systematic electrification of the modern four-cylinder engines
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 makes the engine even more efficient. Along with electrification, which also includes the use of an electric refrigerant compressor for the air conditioning system.
In terms of exhaust gas after treatment, this most powerful of the four-cylinder diesel engines also take things one step further. Its components include:
The 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 after-treatment system positioned directly at the engine.
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 when coming 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 fully integrated transmission control with a 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 has been cut by 30 percent compared with the predecessor.
Technical view at a glance:
 The stated figures are the measured “NEDC CO2 figures in conformance with Article 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures. The WLTP figure is relevant for the assessment of the motor vehicle tax.