Νέες φωτογραφίες και τα πρώτα διαφημιστικά video έδωσε η Mercedes-Benz για την C-Class μετά την παρουσίαση της στη Γενεύη. Να θυμίσω ότι στην Ευρώπη η νέα C-Class θα είναι διαθέσιμη με μια γκάμα κινητήρων από 1.8 έως 3.5 λίτρων. Ο 4κύλιδρος turbo βενζινοκινητήρας των 1.800cc αποδίδει 201 άλογα με 31 κιλά ροπή που επιτρέπει στο αυτοκίνητο να κάνει τα 0-100 χλμ/ώρα σε 7.1 δευτερόλεπτα ενώ στην έκδοση C350 έχει τοποθετηθεί ο νέος V6 3.5 λίτρων απόδοσης 306 ίππων με 37 κιλά ροπής. Οι πωλήσεις της θα ξεκινήσουν από το καλοκαίρι.


[Πηγή: Mercedes-Benz]

Δελτίο Τύπου

The Mercedes-Benz management team on the C-Class

“The benchmark in its segment”

“The C-Class Saloon has been the global market leader in its segment since 2008, so it is highly topical. But the comprehensive updating of our high-volume model also shows that even in the global economic crisis we have had the strength to invest in our product portfolio without making any compromises. For us the new-generation C-Class with more than 2000 new parts is a facelift – others would speak of a new car.” Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars

“We are currently making greater leaps forward than ever before in the history of the car where efficiency is concerned. This becomes clear if you compare our compact top model from 1989, the 190 E 2.5-16 Evo I, with the current C 220 CDI. The performance is virtually identical, and in the space of just 20 years consumption has been halved, whilst comfort, safety and emission characteristics have drastically improved at the same time. And we are certainly keeping up this speed: we are inventing the car for the second time.” Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Development, Mercedes-Benz Cars

“In order to keep delivery times as short as possible for our customers, we have production of the C-Class running at full steam in three plants. We introduce the extensive changes for the new generation, such as the bonnet made of aluminium, on the production line in a flying changeover. This is a challenge for logistics and processes, and it is only thanks to the motivation and flexibility of our employees that we can do this with confidence. Some of our competitors envy us for this ‘Daimler spirit’.” Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Production and Purchasing, Mercedes-Benz Cars

“The drive system and safety systems in the new-generation C-Class offer the comfort, efficiency and safety of our luxury vehicles. The new telematics generation connects the C-Class with the internet. Plus, with many significant details in the interior, the vehicle calls to mind the new CLS and sets totally new standards in its segment where the quality impression is concerned.” Dr Joachim Schmidt, Member of Mercedes-Benz Cars Management responsible for Sales and Marketing

“The new-generation C-Class also sets the pace in its segment when it comes to design. This is particularly apparent in the interior: fine materials displaying painstaking attention to detail and the generous use of trim parts add an exclamation mark: the C-Class is dressed up to the nines.” Prof. Gorden Wagener, Head of Design, Mercedes-Benz Cars

The new generation C-Class

New, dynamic appearance – inside and out

• Vigorous: major design update for the saloon and estate

• Extended: ten new assistance systems for more safety

• Efficient: new engines with up to 31 percent lower fuel consumption

• Experience: new generation of telematics with internet access

• Successful: more than one million units of the current model series sold since March 2007

The new C-Class being launched in spring 2011 is a comprehensive modernisation. The front and rear sections of this bestselling model have a more striking design. Together with the optional high-resolution colour display in the instrument cluster, the new dashboard with its elegant, grained surface and prominent decorative trim emphasises the premium character of the interior. Fuel consumption has been lowered by up to 31 percent. Efficiency-enhancing measures include new engines, the improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function. Ten new driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control are now available for this model series. The new-generation telematics include internet access and a 3D navigation display with plastic city views.

“The drive system and safety systems in the new-generation C-Class offer the comfort, efficiency and safety of our luxury vehicles. The new telematics generation connects the C-Class with the internet. Plus, with many significant details in the interior, the vehicle calls to mind the new CLS and sets totally new standards in its segment where value and quality impression are concerned”, remarks Dr Joachim Schmidt, Member of Mercedes-Benz Cars Management responsible for Sales and Marketing. This modernisation of the interior is rounded off by the new telematics generation, which not only includes totally reworked displays; it also facilitates in-car internet access.

A total of more than 2000 new components distinguish the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from its predecessor. The European market launch is taking place from March 2011. In addition to the standard appointments – which now include a leather steering wheel – the two design and equipment lines ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE are the basis for the individualisation range for the C-Class. The two lines are now more readily distinguishable from each other.

The C-Class is the highest-selling model series, and therefore of particular importance for Mercedes-Benz. The current series has found well over one million buyers worldwide since its launch in March 2007. Since the market launch of the first C-Class in 1982 (then known as the 190 model), Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 8.5 million vehicles in total in this segment. In 2010, too, the C-Class was repeatedly topping the registration statistics. Since 2008 the saloon has been the unbeaten world market leader in its segment. It has also positioned itself right at the head of the field in quality inspections in Europe (ADAC (German automobile association) breakdown statistics) and in the USA (J. D. Power study).

Dynamic, resolute, self-assured: the exterior

The front bumper has a more expressive and dynamic contour, the front section being brought closer to the brand’s new design idiom. As a central element at the front, the shape of the radiator grille is more prominently supported by the bumper. The central air intake opens out upwards in a V-shape, forming a visual base unit for the radiator grille. Pronounced side sections on the bumper extend from the sporty V-shape at the centre. These sections (beneath the headlamps) blend into the feature lines along the vehicle flanks, creating a link with the sides. The side air inlets in the bumper are positioned low down, giving the car a more road-hugging appearance.

The saloon and estate now have a new aluminium bonnet, which contributes to weight reduction and therefore fuel efficiency. Other aluminium features include the front wings and the door modules. The contour of the bonnet in the area of the headlamps and radiator grille emphasises the V-shape of the front section more heavily than before. In conjunction with the newly designed headlamps, this renders the front section significantly more striking.

The shape of the clear-lens headlamps has been modified to create a more dynamic and resolute impression, and to act together with the bonnet, radiator grille and bumper to emphasise the V-shape of the front section. This impression is reinforced by both the exterior form of the headlamps and the interior of the housings. The headlamps show their modernity by precision and an interplay between matt and high-sheen areas. The halogen headlamps are arranged in the classic way, with low beam on the outside, main beam on the inside and the indicators neatly arranged in the outer corner formed with the front wing.

If the optional bi-xenon headlamps with the Intelligent Light System (ILS) are ordered, the impression of depth is reinforced by a row of lighting modules. A position light with a distinctive C-shape emphasises the night design. Behind it is a cornering light extending to the main headlamp module on the outside. A visual base in the lower section of the headlamp is formed by a horizontal broadband LED indicator unit. The horizontal LED daytime running lamps in the bumper also make the C-Class unmistakable from a distance.

In the case of the rear bumper, the light-catching contours and dividing lines have been modified to emphasise the width of the saloon and estate even 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 tail end with the sides to emphasise the sporty character of the rear aspect. In the facelifted model, the tail lights are even more neatly integrated into the tail end 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 the 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 and even small cars with its drag area of Cd x A = 0.57 sq. m.

Sporty, high-quality interior

A main focus of the design work in the interior was the restyling of the dashboard, with the aim of creating a powerful, sporty and high-quality look. This redesigning also involved enhancing the trim concept. The surfaces of the control elements are more finely detailed and galvanised. The 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. The central, trapezoidal air vents and the round vents on the outside are highlighted in detail by galvanised trim.

The large section of trim is an important part of the newly designed dashboard. This extends from the centre air vents across the front-passenger side to the outer air vent, making the interior appear significantly wider. The upper dashboard section with a new surface grain continues into the beltlines of the door panels.

The control panel of the new-generation communication and information unit has keys with high-gloss surface inserts. The combination of matt keys, high-gloss areas and a new knurled wheel design accentuates the higher perceived value of the interior. Together with the new telematics generation, the facelifted C-Class also comes complete with a new instrument cluster featuring an integral display – which is also available as a colour display in conjunction with the optional 12-button steering wheel. Directed towards the driver are three tube-style surrounds with a galvanised surface, openly demonstrating the C-Class’s sporting ambitions.

The premium character of the interior is underlined by the new three-spoke steering wheel generation, which was introduced with the new CLS and is now available in the sporty AVANTGARDE line for the C-Class. The steering wheel with its chromed central spoke stylishly accentuates the sporty atmosphere in the C-Class. In the base version and with ELEGANCE a newly designed four-spoke steering wheel is fitted, and in ELEGANCE guise it comes with chromed trim panels.

The ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE lines are more readily distinguishable from each other. This has been partly achieved by new trim in brown ash wood or dark burr walnut wood (ELEGANCE), or brushed aluminium/high-gloss black ash wood (AVANTGARDE). Standard features in the ELEGANCE line include luxury head restraints whose side bolsters can be adjusted as required.

More power, lower consumption: the engines

A reduction in fuel consumption of up to 31 percent has been achieved. All the C‑Class models will be equipped with the ECO start/stop function as standard from market launch (with the exception of the C 300 CDI 4MATIC). 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 with the exception of the C 300 CDI 4MATIC will feature the further-developed 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission (introduction in the C 250 CDI 4MATIC in June 2011). In addition, the overall ratio of all new powertrain variants has been optimised for fuel economy.

All the petrol engines in the model series have direct injection. One of the highlights is the introduction of the new V6 petrol 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 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 Nm (C 350 previously 200 kW/272 hp and 350 Nm). Fuel consumption has been significantly reduced, however: the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY has a mean consumption of 6.8 litres per 100 km – 3.1 litres or 31 percent less than the preceding C 350 model.[1]

The four-cylinder petrol engines, which made a great evolutionary leap forward in 2009 and all feature direct injection and turbocharging, excel with high performance and exemplary economy.

All C-Class petrol models at a glance[2]

Model Cyl. cc kW/hp 

at rpm

Nm from 

rpm

0-100 

km/h (s)

Top speed 

km/h

l/100 km 

NEDC comb.

CO2 

g/km

C 180 BE* 4/in-line 1796 115/156 

5000

250 

1600

9.0 

(8.9)

225 

(223)

6.7-7.3 

(6.4-6.9)

157-169 

(148-160)

C 200 BE* 4/in-line 1796 135/184 

5250

270 

1800

8.2 

(7.8)

237 

(235)

6.6-7.2 

(6.4-6.9)

150-168 

(150-161)

C 250 BE** 4/in-line 1796 150/204 

5500

310 

2000

7.2 240 6.4-6.9 150-161
C 350 BE** V6 3498 225/306 

6500

370 

3500

6.0 250 6.8-7.0 159-164
C 350 4MATIC BE** V6 3498 225/306 

6500

370 

3500

6.0 250 7.4-7.6 174-178

BE = BlueEFFICIENCY, *figures for manual transmission, automatic transmission in brackets; **figures for automatic transmission

The most economical model in the Mercedes C-Class has also become even more frugal: the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with the manual six-speed transmission and the standard-specification ECO start/stop function has a mean diesel consumption of 4.4 litres per 100 km – 0.4 litres less than before. This corresponds to 117 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

In conjunction with the improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function included as standard, the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY both deliver top-class figures with a combined diesel consumption of just 4.8 litres per 100 km. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 125 grams per kilometre.

All C-Class diesel models at a glance2

Model Cyl. cc kW/hp 

at rpm

Nm from 

rpm

0-100 

km/h (s)

Top speed 

km/h

l/100 km 

NEDC comb.

CO2 

g/km

C 180 CDI BE* 4/in-line 2143 88/120 

2800

300 

1400

10.5 

(10.8)

208 

(206)

4.8-5.3 

(4.9-5.3)

125-139 

(125-140)

C 200 CDI BE* 4/in-line 2143 100/136 

2800

360 

1600

9.2 

(9.1)

218 

(215)

4.8-5.3 

(4.9-5.3)

125-139 

(129-140)

C 220 CDI BE* 4/in-line 2143 125/170 

3000

400 

1400

8.4 

(8.1)

231 

(232)

4.4-5.1 

(4.8-5.2)

117-133 

(125-136)

C 250 CDI BE* 4/in-line 2143 150/204 

4200

500 

1600

7.1 240 4.8-5.3 

(4.8-5.2)

125-140 

(125-136)

C 250 CDI 

4MATIC BE**

4/in-line 2143 150/204 500 

1600

7.1 240 5.4-5.7 144-152
C 300 CDI 4MATIC BE** V6 2987 170/231 

3800

540 

1600

6.4 250 7.0-7.2 185-189

BE = BlueEFFICIENCY, *figures for automatic transmission, manual transmission in brackets; **figures for automatic transmission

Warning and intervening: the new driving assistance systems

With a total of ten new driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control, the C-Class reaches a new level in safety. The assistance systems are based on the latest radar, camera and sensor technology, and cover frequent accident causes such as driving too closely, fatigue and darkness.

The new assistance systems, some of which only warn and some which actively intervene in hazardous situations, at a glance:

  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Blind Spot Assist
  • ATTENTION ASSIST
  • DISTRONIC PLUS
  • Speed Limit Assist
  • PARKTRONIC including Parking Guidance
  • PRE-SAFE® Brake including BAS PLUS
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist

More operating comfort, better connectivity: new-generation telematics

The new C-Class also sees the debut of a new telematics generation which will gradually be introduced in other model series too. Major new features include greater operating convenience, larger displays, phone book 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. 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 integral 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 also has added functions. New features include a 3D display with plastic city views. 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 integral operation via the central controls and the Audio 20 display, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.

Design

Dynamic, resolute, self-assured

• Striking: restyled bumpers, bonnet and headlamps

• Eye-catching: tail lights with an impression of depth thanks to LED indicators

• High-grade: redesigned dashboard emphasises premium standard

The C-Class greets spring 2011 having undergone a comprehensive makeover. The front and tail-end section of the million-seller are styled more strikingly, the front being brought closer to the brand’s new design idiom. The front bumper has a more expressive and dynamic contour, and supports the shape of the radiator grille more prominently as the central element at the front.

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. Continuing beneath the headlamps, these sections blend into the feature lines along the vehicle flanks, forming a link with the sides. The side air inlets in the bumper are positioned low down, giving the car a more road-hugging appearance.

Both the saloon and the estate have been given a new bonnet made of aluminium. Its contour in the area around the headlamps and the radiator grille emphasises the V-shape of the front end to a greater extent than previously.

The shape of the clear-lens headlamps has been modified to create a more dynamic and resolute impression, and to act together with the bonnet, radiator grille and bumper to give the C-Class a new face. This impression is reinforced by both the exterior form of the headlamps and the interior of the housings. The headlamps show their modernity by precision and an interplay between matt and high-gloss areas. The halogen headlamps are arranged in the classic way, with low beam on the outside, main beam on the inside and the indicators neatly arranged in the outer corner formed with the front wing.

If the optional bi-xenon headlamps with the Intelligent Light System (ILS) are ordered, the impression of depth is reinforced by a row of lighting modules. A position light with a distinctive C-shape emphasises the night design. Behind it is a cornering light extending to the main headlamp module on the outside. A visual base in the lower section of the headlamp is formed by a horizontal broadband LED indicator unit. The horizontal LED daytime running lamps in the bumper also make the C-Class unmistakable from a distance.

In the case of the rear bumper, the light-catching contours and dividing lines have been modified to emphasise the width of the saloon and estate even 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 tail end with the sides to emphasise the sporty character of the rear aspect.

In the facelifted model, the tail lights are even more neatly integrated into the tail end 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.

In all its finery: restyled dashboard and high-grade surfaces

One of the design work’s main points of focus in the interior was on restyling the dashboard with the aim of creating a sporty, high-quality look. At the same time the trim concept was also enhanced. The touch surfaces of the controls are more finely detailed and galvanised. With its stepped extension, the instrument cluster’s panel now also accommodates the central display. The instrument cluster and a discreet light-catching contour continue to the front-passenger side. The central, trapezoidal air vents and the round vents on the outside are highlighted in detail by galvanised trim.

The large section of trim is an important part of the newly designed dashboard. This extends from the centre air vents across the front-passenger side to the outer air vent and creates a much wider look for the interior. The upper part of the dashboard with its new surface grain continues into the beltlines of the door panels.

The control panel of the new-generation communication and information unit has keys with high-gloss surface inserts. The combination of matt keys, high-gloss areas and a new knurled wheel design accentuates the higher perceived value of the interior. Together with the new telematics generation, the facelifted C-Class also comes complete with a new instrument cluster with an integral display. Directed towards the driver are three tube-style surrounds with a galvanised surface, openly demonstrating the C-Class’s sporting ambitions.

The premium character of the interior is underlined by the new-generation steering wheel, which was introduced with the new CLS and is now available in the sporty AVANTGARDE line for the C-Class. The steering wheel with its chromed central spoke stylishly accentuates the sporty atmosphere in the C‑Class.

Interior

Higher quality and more comfortable

• Dashboard: new design emphasises premium standard

• Instrument cluster: high-resolution colour display as an option

• Seats: now optionally available with ventilation and heating

Brimming with a wealth of high-grade details in the interior, all reminiscent of the new CLS, the C-Class sets new benchmarks in its segment when it comes to quality and comfort. The interior designers have paid painstaking attention to restyling the dashboard, whose new features include its surface grain, the integral screen, prominent trim and, as an option, a high-resolution colour display in the instrument cluster. A nappa leather steering wheel comes as part of the standard specification. Time spent in both the saloon and the estate is now even more pleasant, thanks to the C-Class’s tried-and-tested dimensional concept, along with its new comfort-enhancing equipment and appointments such as climatised seats and the luxury automatic climate control THERMOTRONIC, which now makes it possible for the occupants to select their own individual climate styles.

Generous: the interior dimensions and load capacity

The C-Class is amongst the most spacious vehicles in its segment. The front shoulder room and the elbow width amount to 1390 and 1440 millimetres respectively. In the rear, the saloon and estate offer shoulder room of 1398 millimetres and an elbow width of 1462 millimetres.

And the C-Class offers plenty of space for luggage, too: the saloon’s load capacity is 475 litres (in accordance with the VDA measuring method). For the saloon Mercedes-Benz offers a divided backrest which can be quickly and easily folded forward on a 1:2 ratio. The head restraints move forward together with the backrests and do not need to be removed first.

Variability is the name of the game where the estate is concerned; its rear seat backrests are divided on a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio and can be folded forwards. The luggage compartment capacity can be extended from 485 or 690 litres when the vehicle is loaded to roof height up to 1500 litres (when the rear seat backrests are folded forward and the vehicle is loaded to roof height). And there is yet another peak value to note: the maximum usable interior length – from the tailgate to the front passenger’s footwell – is 2.82 metres.

Thanks to a host of practical details, the Mercedes estate can be loaded easily, conveniently and safely. For instance, two bag hooks and four eyelets for anchoring loads are included in the load compartment as standard. Stowage compartments with net covers and a collapsible shopping crate are also part of the standard specification, as are the combined luggage cover and retaining net. The EASY-PACK tailgate opens and closes at the push of a button. Finally, the optional EASY-PACK load-securing kit presents drivers with even more possibilities for securing the load being carried.

Comfort on long journeys as standard: the front seats

The seats in the C-Class make a valuable contribution to comfort on long journeys. As an optional extra, climatised seats are now available for the driver and front passenger. They ensure a high degree of thermal seating comfort thanks to small electric fans in the upholstery of the cushion and in the backrest which draw in ambient air, then push it through the perforated seat cover up to the surface. As well as this ventilation feature the climatised seats also include seat heating.

The height and backrest angle of the front seats can be electrically adjusted. Even more ease of operation is available as an optional extra in the form of fully electric adjustment of the driver’s and front-passenger seat. In conjunction with the Memory package three settings can be stored.

The multicontour seat (available as an optional extra) has separately controllable air chambers under the upholstery material. They make it possible for the occupants to adapt the shape of the seat precisely to suit their anatomy or their preferences. This is all thanks to inflatable air chambers underneath the upholstery material which enable the contouring of the side bolsters to be individually set. Another attribute is the function for pneumatically adjusting the seat cushion length. At the push of a button the seat cushion length can be extended, allowing occupants to relax their legs and ensuring good blood circulation.

Comfortable and safe: the rear seats

The rear seat unit is of one-piece construction. Three head restraints and three inertia-reel seat belts ensure the safety of the occupants. The outer rear seats are also equipped with belt tensioners and belt force limiters, as well as head restraints adjustable for height and angle. ISOFIX, the standardised attachment system for child seats, is included as part of the standard specification.

Even more comfort: THERMOTRONIC now with climate modes

As part of the standard specification, all C-Class models include the two-zone THERMATIC automatic climate control. Yet more climate comfort is available courtesy of the optional luxury automatic climate control THERMOTRONIC, which allows individual temperature settings for three zones – for the driver, the front passenger and the rear passengers. What are known as the THERMOTRONIC’s climate modes constitute a new feature in the C-Class: the car occupants can select “Diffuse”, “Medium” or “Focus” settings at the push of a button and thus adjust the air quantity and air distribution to their liking without having to leave the convenient automatic mode.

In “Diffuse” mode, for example, the THERMOTRONIC system operates with a low air speed and distributes the air over a wide area so that there are fewer draughts. In “Focus” mode, meanwhile, the air outlets in the centre area of the dashboard are used for the most part, meeting the need for a direct flow of a larger quantity of air.

Model range

Stronger differentiation of character types

• Fresh look: new trim parts, steering wheels and exterior colours

• Styled for convenience: ambient lighting and luxury head restraints

• Dynamically enhanced: AMG Sports package as an option

The current C-Class was the first Mercedes saloon to have design and equipment lines with their own individual looks. The more classic ELEGANCE models and the standard version bear the Mercedes star on the bonnet. On the AVANTGARDE vehicles the trademark is positioned in the centre of the radiator grille – as the hallmark expression of sporty Mercedes models. In addition to the extended range of standard equipment – now featuring a leather steering wheel and a shift/selector lever in nappa leather – the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE lines both continue to form the basis for the C‑Class’s individualisation range.

In the interior these two lines are now more strongly differentiated from one another. The measures used to achieve this effect include new trim parts in matt brown ash wood or dark burr walnut wood (ELEGANCE) or brushed aluminium /black ash (AVANTGARDE), plus a new colour concept for the seat covers.

Whilst the standard equipment and the ELEGANCE line have been given a four-spoke leather steering wheel, the AVANTGARDE line is fitted with a three-spoke steering wheel, which is covered with perforated leather in the 3 and 9 o’clock position. The AVANTGARDE has a specific seat design with pads in the backrest which are made of fabric/ARTICO man-made leather or leather.

There are also fresh colours for the exterior: alabandite grey metallic, diamond white metallic BRIGHT, magnetite black metallic and cavansite blue metallic are the names of the new paints. The saloon and the estate are bestowed with ambient lighting of the vehicle – integrated in the external mirror housings of the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE. Over and above this, both lines feature

standard-fit single-tone illumination of the door opener, plus lights in the footwells. This ambient lighting produces a pleasant lighting mood in the interior when travelling at night.

A new detail included as standard in the ELEGANCE is a luxury head restraint whose side bolsters can be adjusted if required. There are also new optional extras for all the versions, such as climatised seats (ventilation and heating) at the front, not to mention the Stowage Space package. The latter comprises a spectacles compartment, a stowage compartment beneath the front seats, a double cup holder and a luggage net in the rear footwell.

The AMG Sports package combines attractive ad exclusive optional extras and lends the saloon and estate an even sportier appearance. New items of equipment and appointments such as the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with its flattened bottom section and format-17 AMG five-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels inject more individuality, upping the driving pleasure into the bargain. Anyone ordering a C-Class with an automatic transmission and the AMG Sports package will also have shift paddles fitted to the steering wheel, which can be used to change through the gears manually. The AMG Sports package can be combined with the standard equipment and the AVANTGARDE and ELEGANCE lines. It is available for both the saloon and estate and for all engines.

Under the microscope: heritage

Model history of the C-Class

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a multitalented character that exists in the form of a compact saloon, a variable estate and a successful racing car. The C-Class is the highest-volume model series and is thus of particular importance to Mercedes-Benz. Since 1982 Mercedes-Benz has sold a total of over 8.5 million vehicles in this segment.

The history of the C-Class began back in 1982. That was when the 190 model (model series W 201), the direct forerunner of the C-Class, was presented. The 190 became the third model series – alongside the S-Class and E-Class. Customers in North America began calling the new saloon the “Baby-Benz”. But beneath its sheet metal panels lay some very grown-up values. Groundbreaking features led to high standards in passive safety, the drive system and in other automotive technology disciplines. In 1982 the flyer for the 190 model promised “Top Mercedes technology in a compact form”. The model kept this promise and the C-Class has continued to live up to it ever since.

A short model history of the C-Class:

Model series 201

In 1982 Mercedes-Benz unveiled the 190 model. Created by designer Bruno Sacco, the saloon (model series W 201) transferred the Mercedes-Benz values to the mid-series. These values included a passion for technical innovation: accordingly the W 201 was given a multi-link independent rear suspension, a weight-saving construction using high-strength steels, an aerodynamically exemplary bodyshell and outstanding passive safety features.

The 190 model also set benchmarks where the engines were concerned: amongst the diesel units this was achieved using an encapsulated assembly that led to the 190 D model being known as the “whispering diesel”. And there were four-valve engines for the petrol models, making the compact class highly powerful and turning it into a successful athlete on the race track. A total of 1,879,629 units of model series 201 were sold.

Model series 202

The 202 series was the first to bear the name Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The saloon (W 202) was launched in 1993. The C-Class offered more space and comfort with exterior dimensions that were similar to those of the 190. At comparable prices, the standard equipment was also much more extensive. In 1996 the model range was extended to include the estate (S 202), which offered exemplary spaciousness for this vehicle class.

The 202 series had a decisive effect on the further development of passenger car diesel engines at Mercedes-Benz: it was in the C-Class that four-valve diesels for passenger cars first celebrated their world premiere. This was followed by the first turbodiesel car with four-valve technology and intercooling. Finally, the diesel engine with direct injection in accordance with the common-rail principle (CDI, Common Rail Direct Injection) made its debut in the C-Class in 1997. But the model series also set trends amongst the petrol engines: for the first time in more than 50 years, Mercedes-Benz began using a positive-displacement belt-driven supercharger again in the C 230 Kompressor model – for performance-enhancing engine charging. In total 1,847,382 vehicles of the 202 model series rolled off the production line.

Model series 203

The third generation of the compact class (W 203) presented in the year 2000 was characterised by a particularly sporty design. And in the autumn of 2000 a sports coupé (CL 203) made its debut in the C-Class. The new estate (S 203) arrived on the scene in 2001 and reinforced the predecessor’s character as a lifestyle vehicle with a high utility value.

The new model series comprised a whole raft of technical innovations as part of its standard equipment. Alongside safety, exemplary comfort and reliability, it was above all the C-Class’s sporty agility that was to the fore. Amongst the technical innovations which were premiered in this generation of the C-Class were the automated six-speed transmission SEQUENTRONIC. Overall more than two million vehicles of model series 203 were built.

Model series 204

The succinct design of the fourth-generation C-Class which arrived in the dealerships as of March (saloon) and November (estate) 2007 was based on Mercedes-Benz’s latest design idiom. For the very first time the design and equipment lines for a Mercedes saloon bore their own individual vehicle looks. For instance the AVANTGARDE design and equipment line with its Mercedes star positioned in the centre of the radiator grille created a decidedly agile C-Class in a sporty design. And especially for customers preferring the emphasis to be on comfort and elegance, Mercedes-Benz offered true hallmark style in the form of the ELEGANCE and CLASSIC design and equipment lines and the traditional Mercedes radiator grille.

The new C-Class’s technical innovations included the AGILITY CONTROL package with selective damper control and even more direct steering. With ADAPTIVE BRAKE, another innovative feature in the field of chassis technology, the C-Class offered additional assistance functions. For the first time in this segment, the innovative Intelligent Light System with five different lighting functions plus the PRE-SAFE® occupant protection system was available in the C-Class. The latter system autonomously activates protective measures for the driver and front passenger before an imminent accident. By the end of 2010 the current model series already had over a million customers.

Active safety

Warning and intervening

• Help in an emergency: ten new driving assistance systems

• Holistic approach: “Real Life Safety”

Preventing accidents and minimising the consequences thereof: this is the holistic approach taken by those working in Mercedes-Benz safety research, which the company terms “Real Life Safety”. The basis of this is formed by what the in-house engineers know as “driver-fitness safety”, alongside ride and seating comfort, plus quiet-running characteristics, such as effective headlamp and windscreen wiper systems and simple and safe operation. Safe handling that has no nasty surprises in store comes courtesy of advanced chassis systems, which for years now have also been fitted as standard with ESP®, developed by Mercedes-Benz. In addition to this there are the PRE-SAFE® systems which can warn, support and protect the driver when a concrete risk of accident has been detected.

An important anticipatory role is increasingly being played by a large number of assistance systems which ease the burden on the driver – especially in critical situations. This is where Mercedes-Benz uses its unique position in the segment of luxury vehicles as a spearhead of technological development. New technologies are then integrated into the high-volume model series as quickly as possible. The best example of this process of democratisation is the new-generation C-Class. It is now offering no less than ten new assistance systems, some of which only entered series production in the luxury class in the past year.

Warning and intervening: the new driving assistance systems

With a total of ten new driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control, the C‑Class reaches a new level of safety. The assistance systems are based on the latest radar, camera and sensor technology, and cover frequent accident causes such as driving too closely, fatigue and darkness. The new assistance systems, some of which only warn and some which actively intervene in hazardous situations, at a glance:

  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Blind Spot Assist
  • ATTENTION ASSIST
  • DISTRONIC PLUS
  • Speed Limit Assist
  • PARKTRONIC including Parking Guidance
  • PRE-SAFE® Brake including BAS PLUS
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist

Electronic helpers: the new assistance systems in the C-Class

Adaptive Highbeam Assist. When vehicles are detected ahead of or approaching the vehicle, this system automatically dips the beams and adjusts the range of the headlamps appropriate to the distance. This means that main beam can be used more frequently.

Active Lane Keeping Assist. The system kicks into action if the Mercedes-Benz vehicle inadvertently drifts over a solid line to the right or left of a lane. In such a case, a warning sign in the instrument cluster and vibration of the steering wheel give the driver warning. If the driver does not heed the warning in the case of the solid line, Active Lane Keeping Assist can use the ESP® to brake the opposite wheels and thereby prevent the vehicle from crossing the solid line. The Lane Keeping Assist, which warns but does not actively intervene, is available as a favourably-priced alternative.

Active Blind Spot Assist. It warns the driver when changing lanes if a risk of collision is detected due to another vehicle in the neighbouring lane being in the blind spot of the exterior mirror. If the driver ignores the warning and nevertheless initiates the lane-changing manoeuvre, the Active Blind Spot Assist intervenes. By applying braking force to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle, a yaw movement is created which counteracts the collision course. The Active Blind Spot Assist was recently awarded the “Yellow Angel” prize for being a pioneering innovation by a jury of experts from the ADAC, the German automobile association and the biggest of its kind in the world. The favourably-priced alternative is the Blind Spot Assist; it warns the driver but does not actively intervene.

ATTENTION ASSIST warns drivers when it detects that they are over-tired. Studies have shown that around a quarter of all serious motorway accidents are caused by drowsy drivers, making this factor an even bigger cause of accidents than drink-driving. With ATTENTION ASSIST (standard for Elegance and Avantgarde), Mercedes-Benz is therefore making another important contribution towards helping to avoid accidents: it employs high-resolution sensors to observe driver behaviour and can recognise whether the driver is tired or not paying attention, based primarily on steering wheel movements.

BRAKE ASSIST PLUS: this system is able to recognise an impending rear-end collision using radar sensors. It calculates the necessary degree of braking assistance and makes it available immediately when the driver presses the brake pedal.

DISTRONIC PLUS: the radar-based proximity control supports the driver at speeds between zero and 200 km/h by automatically adjusting the distance to the vehicles in front. In doing so it is able to apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a complete standstill and also accelerate it again. As a result, the system is also particularly convenient in stop-and-go traffic. If the system detects that the distance is being reduced too quickly, it warns the driver with both visual and acoustic signals. The control system has also been refined even further through the inclusion of information from digital maps.

Speed Limit Assist: a camera fitted behind the windscreen detects speed limit signs at the roadside and compares this data to information contained in the GPS system. The relevant speed limit is then displayed in the instrument cluster.

PARKTRONIC including Parking Guidance: ultrasonic sensors measure the length of parking spaces as the car drives past; the cockpit display provides a schematic representation of the recommended parking manoeuvre. Ultrasonic sensors then support the driver whilst parking.

PRE-SAFE® Brake: autonomous braking if acute danger of an accident is detected. At first the driver is given both an acoustic and an optical warning if the system identifies that there is a danger of collision. If the driver does not react to this, the system brakes the vehicle autonomously. This occurs in two stages: around 1.6 seconds before the calculated impact point the system decelerates the car with around 40 percent (approx. four m/s²) of the maximum braking power, gives the driver an additional, haptic warning of the impending impact and as a precaution activates the reversible PRE-SAFE® occupant protection systems. If the driver still fails to react, the PRE-SAFE® Brake activates the maximum braking power around 0.6 seconds before the now unavoidable collision – this emergency braking can greatly reduce the severity of the impact. The system therefore acts like an “electronic crumple zone”, offering the car occupants even greater protection. The PRE-SAFE® Brake is active at speeds of between 30 and 200 km/h when moving vehicles are detected in front of the car. The system also reacts if the car approaches a stationary queue of traffic, providing its speed is below 70 km/h.

Other helpers:

ADAPTIVE BRAKE: this Mercedes-Benz brake system offers assistance functions for greater safety and comfort, such as a HOLD function when waiting at traffic lights, and Hill-Start Assist which can help prevent rolling backwards when moving off on a downhill gradient.

Headlamp Assist: a sensor on the windscreen registers the lighting conditions. As a result, the headlamps can be turned on automatically when darkness falls.

Under the microscope: the new driving simulator

C-Class is the crucial element of the virtual world

October 2010 saw the inauguration of Mercedes-Benz’s new driving simulator at the company’s Technology Centre in Sindelfingen. With its 360° screen, fast electric power system and the twelve metre-long rail for transverse movements, the dynamic driving simulator is the most powerful in the entire car industry.

The real car in the virtual world is a C-Class in which the test driver takes a seat in the testing cell. It can be reprogrammed electronically to mimic the behaviour of every current or future Mercedes model. The testing cell is in the form of a hexapod on six moving supports. In addition to the C-Class itself it includes the projection wall on which a realistic display of the road traffic is shown, along with moving pedestrians, oncoming traffic and houses.

The vehicle controls are linked to the computerised control system of the driving simulator by data lines. When the test driver turns the steering wheel or accelerates, these reactions are registered by the computer control system and have the same effects as in real traffic situations. The scenery on the screen changes constantly and the moving cell simulates the vehicle’s attitude on the road, for example front-end dive when braking. The computer calculates the driving behaviour of the car more than 1000 times per second, issuing the relevant commands to the electrics. It is able to move the cell transversely by up to twelve metres at a maximum speed of ten metres per second (36 km/h).

“The new driving simulator enables us to reproduce highly dynamic driving manoeuvres such as lane-changes even more realistically, and to research the behaviour of the driver and vehicle in road traffic even more intensively. The knowledge gained here can then be implemented in our series-production vehicles very soon afterwards”, Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Development, Mercedes‑Benz Cars, explains.

Passive safety

Top marks for safety

• Comprehensive protection: seven airbags and NECK-PRO head restraints

• Anticipatory safety: with PRE-SAFE® system as an option

• Best purchasing decision: top marks in US safety test

• Crash performance under the microscope: sophisticated simulations

The C-Class safety concept has been optimised based on the analysis of real-life accidents. As part of the standard specification, seven airbags, belt tensioners, belt force limiters and NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints offer the occupants an extremely high level of protection should an accident occur. The body structure has been designed to ensure that, in the event of a frontal collision, the impact forces are distributed over a wide area and on four independently acting impact levels, meaning that the passenger compartment remains largely intact. Around 70 percent of all the bodyshell panels are made from state-of-the-art, high-strength steel alloys that minimise weight and maximise safety.

The C-Class also features the anticipatory occupant protection system PRE‑SAFE® as an option. This Mercedes-Benz innovation uses the time between detection of a potential accident situation and a possible collision to initiate preventive protective measures, thus reducing the loads exerted on the occupants in the event of a crash by up to 40 percent.

Crash-test rating: top marks in Europe and the USA

The safety concept also does brilliantly in standardised rating crash tests. The renowned American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), for instance, declared the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Top Safety Pick three times in a row (in 2009, 2010 and 2011) – deeming it to be the best purchasing decision with regard to safety. The C-Class achieved good ratings in all the safety criteria which were examined.

Each year, the experts at the IIHS rate car models based on stringent safety criteria, thereby providing an important tool to help buyers make a decision. In the assessments the vehicles are subjected to front and side crash tests. The safety specialists in the US also evaluate protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. For all three criteria, the C-Class was awarded top marks.

By rating the C-Class a Top Safety Pick, the IIHS has confirmed the vehicle’s extremely good performance in crash tests conforming to Euro NCAP (the European New Car Assessment Programme), in which the C-Class was awarded five stars, making it one of the safest cars on the market.

Crash-test simulation: two million finite elements

Extensive crash-test simulations formed the basis for safety development work on the C-Class. This is a field which has made great leaps forward: at the beginning of the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz was performing around 200 computerised crash tests per annum. By the year 2000 this number had already increased to 1500 simulations, and in 2010 more than 50,000 were carried out. And this is by no means the only impressive set of statistics: for the tests on the W 201, the C-Class’s predecessor from the 1980s, the computer model consisted of 25,000 finite elements. Nowadays the level of detail is much greater – the digital replica of the current C-Class (W 204), for example, comprises around two million elements. And the planar grid of the virtual vehicle structure is now composed of tiny rectangles and triangles with an edge length of three millimetres. This facilitates a far more precise and detailed deformation analysis than previously, when, at 25 millimetres the elements were so much larger.

But it is not just the software that has clocked up huge advances, for the hardware has undergone an impressive process of development, too: the C‑Class that was unveiled in 2007 was the first series-production car in the world to be developed using the trend-setting digital prototype (DPT) method. The digital prototype made it possible for all the simulation methods to be pooled for the first time, and thus to create a completely virtual car.

As well as the high development speed, the decisive advantage that computer simulation has over real crash tests lies not only in the fact that the vehicles are not destroyed; even more important than that is the ability which today’s engineers have to detect and follow what actually happens in an impact in great detail. As if with x-ray eyes the engineers can track the course of deformation in extreme slow motion and from any perspective they wish, thus delving further and further into the details every year.

By way of example, in order to be able to reconstruct a vehicle’s spot welds and its tensile shear and compressive strength precisely in the computer model, the simulation experts have performed over 9000 component tests. But there are still limits to simulation, such as fuel density and the performance of the door lock during the crash. This is why real-life and simulated crash texts will continue to complement one another at the company’s Technology Centre in Sindelfingen, where they work in close cooperation.

Body, quality and production

Master of quality in the executive segment

• Aluminium: new bonnet reduces the weight

• Value champion: Mercedes-Benz builds the vehicles with the highest value retention

• Quality: excellent customer feedback in Europe and the USA

• Production: Sindelfingen, Bremen and East London (South Africa)

The right material in the right place: in accordance with this principle, approximately 70 percent of all the sheet metal panels in the C-Class are made of high-strength steel alloys. With minimum weight, they offer maximum strength and thus the highest possible levels of safety. Today’s ultra-high-strength steel sheet panels deserve a special mention. They achieve a tensile strength that is three to four times higher than that of conventional steel grades, making them indispensable for meeting the stringent Mercedes requirements regarding durability and safety. These ultra-high-strength high‑tech alloys account for around 20 percent of the weight of the C-Class bodyshell.

Aluminium and plastic are the other two lightweight materials which Mercedes-Benz uses where they offer maximum benefit. The bonnet made of aluminium is new, weighing in at some 9.2 kg less than its steel predecessor and thus reducing the weight where this makes most sense. Other aluminium features on the C-Class are the front wings, the front-end assembly including its flexible cross member and crash boxes, the sheet metal panel for the parcel shelf in the rear, and the door modules. The spare wheel recess is made of plastic.

The aerodynamics of the C-Class are the 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 – and even small cars – with its drag area of Cd x A = 0.57 sq. m.

Long-term protection: fully galvanised body with tougher paintwork

Long-term corrosion prevention for the bodywork is based on fully galvanised sheet metal panels. Structure areas of the body which are subjected to high stresses are protected with cavity-fill preserving agent. Sheet metal panel laminations and beads are completely filled with adhesive, whilst systematic sealing of the weld seams and edges with a PVC joint prevents corrosion from occurring. Generous underbody panelling composed of plastic laminate protects the bodywork and engine against stone chipping, moisture and dirt. Axle components, which are also subjected to a great deal of stone chipping damage, are protected by plastic panelling.

Mercedes-Benz makes a major contribution to exemplary long-term quality and value retention with a scratch-resistant clear coat based on nano-technology. This innovative paint system, which celebrated its world debut at Mercedes-Benz at the end of 2003, is a standard-specification feature of the new C-Class and is used for both metallic and non-metallic finishes. Thanks to remarkable advances in the field of nano-technology, it was possible to integrate the tiny ceramic particles measuring less than one millionth of a millimetre into the molecular structure of the paint binder. These particles effect a three-fold improvement in the scratch-resistance of the paint finish and ensure a visibly brighter, long-lasting sheen.

Value champion: Mercedes-Benz builds the vehicles with the highest value retention

“Value champion of 2010” – this is the title bestowed on the current C-Class as well as other Mercedes-Benz models by the market research institute Bähr & Fess Forecast based in Saarbrücken, Germany, on behalf of the specialist magazine “Auto Bild”. According to the market researchers’ prognoses regarding residual value, as a four-year-old car the C 220 CDI will have the highest re-sale value in its segment and will then still achieve 53.5 percent of its current new value. Incidentally, the C-Class already took this top spot last year in the analysis carried out by experts on residual value.

Breakdown statistics: Mercedes drivers run into least bother with breakdowns

Since 1978 the ADAC, the biggest European car club, has been publishing its annual breakdown statistics. For its latest set of statistics the automobile association evaluated around 2.04 million breakdown reports filed by its helpers. The incidents registered were breakdowns involving cars aged between one and six years owned by club members who called the ADAC road patrols to ask for assistance. The result was that the C-Class impressed with very good marks in the executive segment and the upper executive segment. Back in 2008 the C-Class had already secured a win for Mercedes-Benz in the executive segment, building on the brand’s success the previous year.

Quality: US study puts the C-Class in first place

In the current quality study conducted by renowned market research institute J.D. Power and Associates for the American market, Mercedes-Benz achieved the best result since 1990. The IQS study (“Initial Quality Study”) assessed the as-delivered quality of vehicles after 90 days. Some 82,000 buyers of new cars and lessees in the USA with model-year 2010 vehicles were surveyed.

Mercedes-Benz has achieved a further marked improvement in comparison to 2009, rising by three positions in the brand ranking to 3rd place. This is the best IQS result for Mercedes since 1990. Particularly gratifying is the showing by the C-Class, which took first place in the premium entry-level segment.

Production: top quality has a long tradition

The Mercedes C-Class is popular amongst customers all over the globe. It is currently built at three locations: Sindelfingen, Bremen (both in Germany) and East London (South Africa). The Bremen plant enjoys particularly close ties with the compact model family from Mercedes-Benz, as this is the former Borgward and Hanomag-Henschel manufacturing plant.

In 1938 F. W. Borgward put into operation his new car plant for the “Hansa” model in Bremen-Sebaldsbrück. Up until Borgward production ceased in 1961, it was mainly passenger cars that were built here, above all the legendary “Isabella”. In 1971 the tradition-steeped manufacturing facility was taken on by Daimler-Benz and in 1978 it was integrated into the company’s coordinated production system. Vehicles bearing the famous three-pointed star have been built there ever since.

In September 1982 production of body components began in Bremen, initially for the “Baby-Benz” of model series 201, which had already started in Sindelfingen. In November 1983 the entire series production of the new compact model started up in Bremen.1993 saw production of its successor, model series 202, begin in Bremen – first of all with the saloon, and then the estate followed it in 1996. The C-Class of model series 203 was also manufactured in Bremen. Start-up of the saloon and estate versions of the current C-Class, known internally as model series 204, came in 2007. A particular challenge was now posed by changing over to aluminium as the material for the bonnet for the new-generation C-Class during ongoing production.

For the last ten years the compact class has also been rolling off the production line in South Africa: the current C-Class is part of the third vehicle generation built on South Africa’s Eastern Cape. The “East London” plant has been exporting saloons to right-hand drive markets since the year 2000. Since production of the new C-Class began in 2007, left-hand drive vehicles for export to the USA have also been manufactured, and in total more than 100,000 C-Class vehicles have already been built there. In 2010 the plant was in first place in the statistics published by the American quality market researcher J.D. Power in the Europe/Africa category, and received the highest possible accolade in the form of the Platinum Plant Quality Award.

Drive system

More power, lower consumption

• Direct injection for all petrol and diesel engines

• Start/stop function standard for virtually all models

• All automatic versions now with 7G-TRONIC

All the engines for the C-Class are now classed as BlueEFFICIENCY units, showing that they are particularly efficient and environmentally compatible in their use of fuel. A reduction of up to 31 percent has been achieved in fuel consumption. All the C-Class models are equipped with the ECO start/stop function as standard from market launch (with the exception of the C 300 CDI 4MATIC). In future all automatic versions with the exception of the C 300 CDI 4MATIC will feature the further-developed 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission (introduction in the C 250 CDI 4MATIC in June 2011). In addition, the overall ratio of all new powertrain variants has been optimised for fuel economy.

All the petrol engines in the model series have direct injection. One of the highlights is the introduction of the new V6 petrol 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 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 Nm (C 350 previously 200 kW (272 hp) and 350 Nm). Fuel consumption has been significantly reduced, however: the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY has a mean consumption of 6.8 litres per 100 km – 3.1 litres or 31 percent less than the preceding C 3503 model. When compared with the previous direct-injection engine, too, the 350 CGI, the new C 350 BlueDIRECT achieves a consumption saving of 18 percent.

3 Figures for the saloon

The four-cylinder petrol engines, which made a great evolutionary leap forward in 2009 and all feature direct injection and turbocharging, excel with high performance and exemplary economy. Known internally as M 271 EVO, the four-cylinder petrol engine model series stands for systematic downsizing. The direct fuel injection facilitates higher compression and thus a better thermodynamic efficiency rate, which becomes apparent where fuel consumption is concerned: the new four-cylinder direct-injection engines also consume up to 31 percent less fuel than the comparable V6 engines of the preceding model.

With a range of new features, the new four-cylinder petrol engine is completely different to its predecessor. The core element of the new engine is the homogeneous direct injection. At a pressure of up to 140 bar the fuel is fed via a high-pressure line to injectors leading to the combustion chamber. This lowers fuel consumption and also considerably reduces pollutant emissions. In addition to this, a variable oil pump has been developed, as has a heat-management process which stops the coolant circulation when the engine is cold, so that the engine and engine oil heat up faster during a cold start. What’s more, the camshaft adjusters have been further optimised as vane-type adjusters, and using an integral control valve they facilitate rapid, continuously variable adjustment of the most favourable timing – and therefore a high torque even at low engine speeds. The crankshaft is manufactured from die-cast aluminium, whilst the cylinder head is made of a special high-strength aluminium alloy.

All C-Class petrol models at a glance4

Model Cyl. cc kW/hp 

at rpm

Nm from 

rpm

0-100 

km/h (s)

Top speed 

km/h

l/100 km 

NEDC comb.

CO2 

g/km

C 180 BE* 4/in-line 1796 115/156 

5000

250 

1600

9.0 

(8.9)

225 

(223)

6.7-7.3 

(6.4-6.9)

157-169 

(148-160)

C 200 BE* 4/in-line 1796 135/184 

5250

270 

1800

8.2 

(7.8)

237 

(235)

6.6-7.2 

(6.4-6.9)

150-168 

(150-161)

C 250 BE** 4/in-line 1796 150/204 

5500

310 

2000

7.2 240 6.4-6.9 150-161
C 350 BE** V6 3498 225/306 

6500

370 

3500

6.0 250 6.8-7.0 159-164
C 350 4MATIC BE** V6 3498 225/306 

6500

370 

3500

6.0 250 7.4-7.6 174-178

BE = BlueEFFICIENCY, *figures for manual transmission, automatic transmission in brackets; **figures for automatic transmission

The diesel engines: yet again much more frugal

The most economical model in the Mercedes C-Class has also become even more frugal: the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with the manual six-speed transmission and the standard ECO start/stop function has a mean diesel consumption of 4.4 litres per 100 km – 0.4 litres less than before. This corresponds to 117 grams of CO2 per kilometre. In conjunction with the improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function included as standard, the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY both deliver top-class figures with a combined diesel consumption of just 4.8 litres per 100 km. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 125 grams per kilometre.

4 Figures for the saloon; models available in Germany, country-specific deviations are possible All C-Class diesel models at a glance2

Model Cyl. cc kW/hp 

at rpm

Nm from 

rpm

0-100 

km/h (s)

Top speed 

km/h

l/100 km 

NEDC comb.

CO2 

g/km

C 180 CDI BE* 4/in-line 2143 88/120 

2800

300 

1400

10.5 

(10.8)

208 

(206)

4.8-5.3 

(4.9-5.3)

125-139 

(129-140)

C 200 CDI BE* 4/in-line 2143 100/136 

2800

360 

1600

9.2 

(9.1)

218 

(215)

4.8-5.3 

(4.9-5.3)

125-139 

(129-140)

C 220 CDI BE* 4/in-line 2143 125/170 

3000

400 

1400

8.4 

(8.1)

231 

(232)

4.4-5.1 

(4.8-5.2)

117-133 

(125-136)

C 250 CDI BE* 4/in-line 2143 150/204 

4200

500 

1600

7.1 240 4.8-5.3 

(4.8-5.2)

125-140 

(125-136)

C 250 CDI 

4MATIC BE**

4/in-line 2143 150/204 500 

1600

7.1 240 5.4-5.7 144-152
C 300 CDI 4MATIC BE** V6 2987 170/231 

3800

540 

1600

6.4 250 7.0-7.2 185-189

BE = BlueEFFICIENCY, *figures for manual transmission, automatic transmission in brackets; **figures for automatic transmission

Seven gears: the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission now in the C-Class

More is more. Whilst many C-Class models have up until now enjoyed convenient automatic gear-shift operation courtesy of a five-gear automatic transmission, with immediate effect seven gears will always be available. This means that the automatic transmission will be able to react even more sensitively to the driver’s wishes: at full acceleration even more torque will be available, whilst the engine speed is lowered for more economy during relaxed cruising. And because of the reduction in jumps where the engine speed is concerned, the gear changes become even more imperceptible and comfortable.

The C-Class has been given the latest evolution level of the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with the suffix “PLUS” – it features enhanced fuel consumption and comfort. The new generation of the torque converter provides an improved dynamic response, better durability and reduced noise and vibration levels thanks to a new hydraulic circuit, as well as enhanced dampers and torque converter housing.

The extreme wheel-slip reduction of the torque converter housing, combined with larger mechanical damper de-coupling, helps to reduce consumption significantly. In addition, the gearshift program in ECO mode has been changed in favour of lower engine rpm at cruising speeds. With friction-optimised bearings and seals plus a new automatic transmission oil (FE-ATF) with reduced viscosity in conjunction with an optimised additive package, the transmission itself helps to cut consumption. The higher longevity of the new transmission oil results in new oil-change intervals (every 125,000 kilometres) if the cooling thresholds are adhered to.

The transmission’s improved electrohydraulic unit and the new friction-reducing materials on some transmission parts in conjunction with optimised software result in better shift quality. And via an electrically driven oil pump the 7G-TRONIC PLUS keeps the transmission on standby during stops – an important prerequisite for fast, comfortable starts in conjunction with the ECO start/stop function.

Start/stop function: sophisticated technology gives the highest levels of efficiency

When the car is at a standstill, the engine does not need to be running and therefore does not need to consume fuel. Recognition of this essentially simple fact is behind the ECO start/stop function, which is now available in the C-Class with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. In order to implement the auto start and auto stop function with a very high level of comfort in a Mercedes-Benz, it has been necessary to develop complex control logistics and a series of new or modified components, such as a high-output starter motor. That’s because Mercedes drivers should only really notice the forced breaks taken by the engine when they are at the filling station.

As a general principle, the engine is switched off every time the vehicle comes to a standstill (auto-stop function). Restarting the engine (auto-starting function) takes place almost imperceptibly; and moving off without any noticeable time lag compared to a stationary vehicle with its engine running. This rapid action is attributable to a special feature: an additional electric transmission oil pump supplies the clutches of the automatic transmission with oil pressure in the stop phases, so as to enable a swift resumption of the journey after direct starting of the combustion engine via the ECO start/stop function. The starter has also undergone thorough modification: it is now designed to cope with eight times as many starting procedures as a conventional starter, ensuring that it will last a car’s lifetime in continuous urban driving involving frequent auto-starting.

It is not always expedient for the engine to be shut down automatically when the vehicle comes to a standstill. The auto-stop function will therefore only be initiated if a number of conditions are met. Where the vehicle itself is concerned these include a certain coolant temperature being reached or the availability of sufficient voltage in the on-board electrical system. The system also checks whether the doors and the bonnet are closed, and whether the driver’s seat belt buckle is fastened. This prevents unintended starting of the engine, for instance when the engine oil is being checked.

Auto-starting takes place when the engine is in auto-stop mode, so when the engine has been shut down via the engine-stop function and the ignition remains switched on. One of the following conditions must also be met, for example: the accelerator is depressed, a gear is engaged or the vehicle is in motion.

Thinking cap on: children playing in the vehicle are protected

But the start/stop function thinks one step further still: the forced engine start is also available as a convenience and protective function, whereby the engine is started autonomously via the engine control unit without intervention from the driver. This happens if one of the above-mentioned in-vehicle boundary

conditions for the auto-stop function are no longer met, such as the on-board electrical system’s voltage or the desired interior temperature. The engine is also force-started if the driver removes their seat belt or opens the driver’s door. The driver is then forced to actively turn off the engine before getting out of the vehicle, thus safely deactivating the ECO start/stop function when the vehicle is parked. This prevents the vehicle from being started unintentionally, by children playing in it, for instance.

Chassis and suspension

Agile handling and high comfort

• AGILITY CONTROL suspension with variable damping as standard

• Sports suspension and Dynamic Handling package optional

• Choice of around a dozen wheel/tyre combinations

The AGILITY CONTROL suspension, which is standard equipment in both the C-Class Saloon and Estate, harmonises perfectly with the dynamic design. It is based on an amplitude-dependent damping system: when driving normally with low shock absorber stimulus, the damping forces are automatically reduced for a noticeable improvement in ride comfort – but without any compromise in handling safety. When shock absorber stimuli are of greater magnitude, for example when cornering at speed or taking evasive action, the maximum damping forces are set and the car is stabilised effectively.

The C-Class’s AGILITY CONTROL suspension is complemented by a rack-and-pinion steering system. Positioning the steering gear 80 millimetres in front of the wheel centre makes for predictable self-steering characteristics with a slight tendency to understeer. Speed-sensitive steering with variable steering-wheel support and a variable steering ratio is available as an optional extra.

Precise wheel location: the front axle with McPherson struts

At the front axle a three-link construction with McPherson struts is used. The lower link level consists of two separate elements which act as torque and cross struts and which are both forged from aluminium. In addition to more precise wheel location, this construction has the particular advantage of compensating vibrations caused by tyre imbalances or fluctuating brake forces better than rigid wishbones.

The third component in the three-link system is the track rod, which connects the transversely installed steering gear with the wheels. The reinforced stabiliser is linked to the spring strut, which is also actively involved in front wheel location.

The struts consist of cylindrical, lateral force compensated coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and newly developed three-phase head bearings. If severe body roll occurs, the stabiliser is supported by rebound buffer springs to ensure agile handling accompanied by a high level of comfort.

Controlled compression and rebound: the multi-link independent suspension

The series-production launch of the Mercedes-Benz 190 in 1983 also marked the beginning of the multi-link independent suspension’s career. In many respects this is a feature that remains without parallel to this day, which is why this patented axle principle – naturally in a modified form – is also employed in the C-Class. With the multi-link independent suspension the wheel is fixed to five elastically mounted links that are independent of each other and which restrict its scope for movement in five directions:

1. The lower transverse control arms activate the suspension springs and dampers

2. The upper transverse control arms regulate the camber over the spring travel

3. The torque struts take up the drive and braking forces, and compensate for dive and squat when accelerating and decelerating

4. The diagonal struts are arranged differently from the torque struts, and also help to prevent dive and squat when braking and accelerating

5. The track rods limit changes in the wheel’s toe-in to a desirable minimum

Owing to this intelligent control arm construction, each rear wheel basically retains freedom of movement in one plane only: namely during controlled compression and rebound.

Even more agile: sports suspension and Dynamic Handling package as an option

In addition to the standard-specification AGILITY CONTROL suspension, the C‑Class offers two other options for adjusting the suspension’s characteristics in line with drivers’ personal preferences. As an optional extra a sports suspension can be selected – it has shorter springs, shock absorbers with tauter tuning, and stronger torsion bars.

A Dynamic Handling package is available as an alternative. It offers the driver two shift programs to choose from: Sport and Comfort. Within these shift programs the shock absorbers are electrically adjusted on a continuously variable basis. Sensors monitor each driving situation and send the information they gather to an electronic control unit. Depending on the current road or operating condition the system adapts the damping forces individually for each wheel – with infinite adjustment and fully automatically.

New styling: light-alloy wheels for AVANTGARDE and ELEGANCE

The saloon and estate both sport seven-spoke light-alloy wheels as part of their standard specification, whilst the AVANTGARDE and ELEGANCE lines are shod in newly styled twin-spoke wheels. Individuality comes courtesy of the extensive range of light-alloy wheels featuring around a dozen different designs in 16, 17 and 18 format. In place of the standard-fit 7.5 J x 17 wheel, the AVANTGARDE model can also be ordered with a 7 J x 16 wheel – providing an alternative for customers who want to make use of the consumption potential offered by a smaller and narrower wheel/tyre combination.

Testing

Continuous stress in fast motion

• Up to 300,000 kilometres in customer use are simulated

• Testing from the Swabian Jura to Namibia

Mercedes-Benz carries out comprehensive entire-vehicle endurance testing not just before start up of totally new model series but also in the case of facelift measures such as with the extensively updated C-Class. The Mercedes test drivers covered the length and breadth of many different countries – on testing grounds, in city traffic, along dust tracks and over frozen lakes. The amount of effort involved is enormous, but it is unavoidable: this is the only way to ensure the reliability and durability of a Mercedes-Benz.

Endurance testing includes a series of long-distance tests in everyday traffic and on testing grounds, and in each case the focus is on certain components or functions. The work involves running through a car’s entire lifetime in fast motion, simulating the loads and stresses that a Mercedes-Benz has to withstand over the course of many years. The tests themselves are accordingly challenging: what is known as the time acceleration factor is between 1:150 and 1:2, depending on the test in question, so in the case of the former, 2000 test kilometres correspond to the everyday stresses of 300,000 kilometres with the Mercedes customers on average.

The endurance testing includes:

  • Full-throttle endurance tests
  • Trailer endurance tests
  • Worldwide endurance trial in Namibia
  • In-camera testing on the Swabian Jura (for details of this please see the next chapter, “Under the microscope”)

The new-generation C-Class undertook the full-throttle endurance tests on a testing site in the North of Germany and on a high-speed track in Italy. This involved the C-Class models covering 50,000 kilometres virtually non-stop – interrupted only by refuelling stops and for driver and tyre changes. Focal points of the testing included the cooling of the engine and brakes, taking into account the air flow through the new shock absorbers.

The stresses applied during trailer endurance testing, which Mercedes-Benz performs on the Swabian Jura, are no less tough. With the maximum payload and the highest possible trailer load the test vehicles cover many thousands of kilometres on the steep, winding roads of this low mountain range in South Germany, with the vehicle structure and drive system being subjected to the harshest loads. Afterwards the Mercedes engineers disassemble and examine down to the last detail components which have borne the brunt of particularly hefty stresses, such as the rear axle gear.

The worldwide endurance trial in Namibia also has some extreme stages to offer. In the highlands and the Namib Desert the Mercedes test vehicles have to cope with gradients of up to 23 percent and passes above the 2000 metre mark as well as stone, dust and gravel tracks. It is not just the suspension that has to prove its Mercedes qualities; the body, installation parts in the interior, climate control and door seals are subjected to huge stresses due to the constant vibratory excitations.

Under the microscope: in-camera testing

A whole year in 14 days

It’s shortly after 11 p.m. at the beginning of December. With perfect timing – it’s the start of meteorological winter – the low-pressure system dubbed “Katharina” has brought snow and frosty temperatures to South Germany. But whilst many people would rather not venture out in their cars, Anton Rosinger is looking forward to a nocturnal drive through snow and ice. “There’s nothing nicer than being out on the Jura plateau when it’s full moon and there’s fresh snow on the ground”, says the Swabian as he steers his C-Class through hairpin bends. The 55 year-old has plenty of dream roads to choose from: as a test driver for Mercedes he gets to drive on testing grounds and tracks all over the world, and knows the frozen surfaces of Scandinavia like the back of his hand, as he does the vertical curves of Nardo in Italy, the Namibian desert and Death Valley, scorched by the Californian sun.

But now it’s time for testing in his home country: the new-generation C-Class has to prove its long-term qualities in what is known as in-camera testing in the Swabian Jura. “We do this to simulate the first year of a new vehicle with the customer”, Rosinger explains. “Working in two shifts, my colleagues and I cover around 1000 kilometres every day.” Within two weeks the thinly disguised near-series prototypes will have more than 10,000 kilometres on the clock. The circular route is precisely defined and is composed of around 65 percent rural roads, 30 percent motorway and five percent urban traffic. The torture track on the test site in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim is also used.

Today the trained car mechanic is on a night shift, and he has no idea what awaits him between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. “The procedure might be a very routine one, but every test day is different.” Rosinger certainly has plenty of experience under his belt: he has been with Daimler for 32 years, 28 of which have been spent in endurance testing. The E-Class predecessor, the W 123, was the first car he tested when he took on this role. Since then there have been huge changes in automotive technology – “above all in the fields of electronics and assistance systems”.

So the C-Class holds a sedate Sunday drive in store for us, pleasantly air conditioned and with the sounds of the audio system as a backdrop? Hardly. “I usually leave the radio switched off, so that I don’t miss hearing any rattling or creaking noises”. Because the endurance testing is not just about rigidly eating up the kilometres – Anton Rosinger’s tasks also include having an ear for locating the noises that only occur on certain road surface conditions or at specific speeds. After all, ensuring that Mercedes models do not draw attention to themselves on account of inappropriate noise or unpleasant vibrations is all part of the brand’s premium standard.

But Rosinger does not sit back and wait to see if a problem will arise – he actively subjects the C-Class to the same stresses the customers will be inflicting on their car over the course of several months: he diligently presses buttons, operates switches and plays with the controls, as the test drivers have to work through an extensive testing schedule, which includes frequent use of the power windows and closing the doors, as well as ignoring the route suggested by the navigation system – in order to see how the software reacts to the disobedient driver. If he notices anything untoward, Rosinger records a short message on his dictating machine, and then at the end of his shift he notes down every detail on his laptop.

But he is still only halfway through his shift, and no sooner has he reached the motorway, than Rosinger takes a short break. He has already covered a good 150 kilometres on the narrow, steep and sometimes snow-covered lanes of the Swabian Jura. So far there have been no problems to report – only the marten and fox have put in brief appearances at the side of the road. Even the 11 percent gradient on which a tester colleague had got stuck in freshly fallen snow the previous night was no trouble for the C-Class Saloon. It turns out that Rosinger is a brilliant driver who is sensitive in his operation of the steering wheel, accelerator and brake, displaying foresight in his driving style: “As time goes by you develop a sixth sense for the way in which other car drivers react”, says the Mercedes employee, who has covered nearly three million kilometres in his testing career.

Even members of Germany’s elite anti-terror unit, the GSG9, have profited from Rosinger’s driving skills, as he has demonstrated to them in courses how to act at the wheel in dangerous situations. He also uses his leisure time to prove his mastery of machines: Rosinger is a successful participant in motorcycle dexterity tournaments. These involve the completion of tests in which the entrants have to try and drive faultlessly in a circle one-handed, for example.

It goes without saying that both hands remain firmly on the steering wheel in the C-Class. Safety has top priority; the test drivers have to undergo extensive training and adhere to a code of conduct, and Mercedes-Benz also insists on annual health checks.

Now we’re cruising on the main road to Stuttgart. There’s an increasing among of traffic about: the revellers on their way home to bed and the morning commuters going to work keep us company as night turns into day. “I like working shifts, as it gives me more free time”, explains family man Rosinger, who currently enjoys spending every spare minute he has with his 20 month-old granddaughter.

In Untertürkheim we meet up for the first time with colleagues who have already completed their series of tests on the torture tracks. Is being a test driver not a lonely job? “That suits me down to the ground”, Rosinger admits, grinning. “As there’s no-one to stick their oar in all the time.” It is indeed very difficult to imagine the Swabian in a desk job. When he first started at Mercedes-Benz he was in the motor racing department, where he worked on the Mercedes 450 SLC rally car under Erich Waxenberger, which was how he also came to meet Walter Röhrl.

It’s now shortly before 7 a.m., and we’re approaching the circular route’s starting point. To round off his shift Rosinger still has to see to the documentation. Any incidents of note: none. A perfectly normal night’s work draws to a close.

Telematics

Internet for the first time, more ease of operation

• Audio 20 CD: standard equipment with new Bluetooth functions

• COMAND Online: multimedia system with internet access

• Becker® MAP PILOT: entry-level navigation system with integral controls

The most important new features of the new telematics equipment from Mercedes-Benz include more convenient operation, larger displays, new functions and internet access for the first time. They are celebrating their premiere in the new-generation C-Class before being gradually introduced in other models.

An overview of the various items of equipment and their functions:

The standard specification of the saloon and estate includes the Audio 20 CD system with a twin tuner and CD player plus an Aux-in and USB connector. The connectors are now within easy reach in a compartment in the centre armrest. The colour display has been enlarged and now has a diagonal of 14.7 centimetres. Thanks to a new “Cover Art” function, the title images of the music albums currently being played are shown if their data are stored in the audio file.

A new top line in the Audio 20 CD’s menu navigation makes orientation easier and can be operated via the controller. The settings for the air conditioning are also displayed on the telematics screen when being operated, as is the fuel consumption in the last 15 minutes. This type of consumption histogram is possible for the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY, C 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY, C 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, C 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY models. The Bluetooth functions have also been extended: the mobile’s phone book can now automatically be transferred en bloc when connecting, and wireless music reproduction is possible from Bluetooth-capable terminals. Plus text messages can also be displayed. As an optional extra the Audio 20 CD can be combined with a 6-disc CD changer, Media Interface, surround sound system (please see below for details), Convenience Telephony in the armrest, digital radio (DAB) and the new Becker® MAP PILOT entry-level navigation solution (details of this are also given below).

The COMAND Online multimedia system offers internet access for the first time. Customers can either surf freely on the internet when at a standstill or to a Mercedes-Benz online service while driving; the latter’s pages can be called up particularly quickly and it is simple to operate. The integral services planned include Google™ Local Search and further online services from other suppliers such as the weather. It is also possible to send individual destinations and routes to the vehicle via Google Maps. More Mercedes-Benz online services will be introduced gradually and then all customers will be able to use them.

The high-resolution colour display measures 17.8 cm. Photos can be shown on the large screen and turned over manually, as in a slide show. Where the audio equipment is concerned, too, new types of representation bring a fresh look and more convenient operation. The new Cover Flow function, for instance, sorts the title images of the music albums stored in a carousel-like form, so that the C-Class driver can easily leaf through their music collection – even if it is rather on the large side: the memory for compressed audio files (mp3, wma and aac formats) now comprises as much as 10 GB. As an option COMAND Online is available with a 6-disc DVD changer.

Greatest convenience is afforded by the Music Search function, which enables drivers and passengers to search the hard disc, SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music tracks and artists. The search can be according to various criteria, for instance album, music category or composer. If a name needs to be entered, the software will also tolerate spelling mistakes. The driver is therefore able to devote their full attention to the traffic. As a further advantage, the occupants are able to search all the connected media and devices simultaneously.

The fast hard-disc navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. New features include a 3D display with plastic city views. 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. Mercedes-Benz customers in Europe receive the current maps for their COMAND Online multimedia system free of charge for three years. The authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers upload the updates for navigation data in 39 European countries into the navigation system when the customer visits their premises.

In Europe COMAND Online also comprises the Speed Limit Assist, which receives its information for traffic sign recognition via a camera and navigation database. COMAND Online also includes the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, telephone and navigation. The new “One Shot” input for the navigation is particularly convenient, whereby the place and road can be said directly after one another.

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 integral operation via the central controls and the Audio 20 display, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.

Mercedes-Benz developed the “Logic7” surround sound system together with the audio specialist harman/kardon®. Based on technology never before seen in a car, this high-end system delivers three-dimensional sound as a natural 360 degree musical experience for all passengers. The audio signals are distributed via a 450 watt amplifier connected to twelve high-performance loudspeakers. In conjunction with COMAND Online a multi-channel listening experience with Dolby Digital 5.1. and DTS is possible.

Under the microscope: interview

“LINGUATRONIC in Mandarin for the first time”

Denise Amelung, 26, from Telematics Product Management is responsible for the new telematics generation’s head units. We spoke to her about the challenges that development work brings with it.

All the time new roads are being built, and routing changed. How can Mercedes drivers be sure that they will always reach their destination?

Mercedes-Benz customers receive the latest map updates for their COMAND Online multimedia system free of charge for three years. Authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers will upload map updates into the navigation system when the car is brought to their premises.

How is your work influenced by the fact that Mercedes vehicles are sold in many different markets all over the globe?

Amelung: Globalisation is a huge issue for us. In China we are offering the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system in Mandarin for the first time in the new C-Class. Another example is the “One Shot” input for the navigation system, whereby it is possible to state the place and road directly after one another. This function is currently available in seven languages and marks a considerable increase in ease of operation.

How does Mercedes-Benz ensure that, for instance, the phone book functions work with any mobile phone without any problems?

Amelung: By carrying out extensive tests with a lot of mobile phones. One problem that can occur, for example, is that the standardised Bluetooth profiles are implemented differently by the mobile phone manufacturers. At www.mercedes-benz.com/connect we offer an internet service page which tells

Mercedes drivers about the optimum use and adjustment of their mobile phone in combination with their car. Incidentally, it is not just the many different mobile phone models that make the matter so complex. Our developers are also testing numerous audio players, SD cards and USB storage media with various formats, for instance.


[1] Figures for the saloon

[2] Figures for the saloon; models available in Germany, country-specific variations are possible