February 23 2021
Welcome to a new, even more digital and efficient world, and welcome home: the new C-Class stands for both, and in all respects creates a future-proof comfort zone in a time of worldwide transformation. As the first classic model series from Mercedes-Benz, the new C-Class is electrified throughout thanks to plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids with 48-volt technology and integrated starter-generator. Due to a high-efficiency battery system, it achieves an electric range of about 100 kilometres (WLTP) as a plug-in hybrid. That is unprecedented in this category to date. It also sets standards with respect to sustainability. And because the C-Class is one of the company's highest-volume model series, this systematic electrification has a correspondingly strong effect on our carbon footprint. Other technical refinements include optional features such as DIGITAL LIGHT and rear-axle steering. The Saloon and Estate models première together, can be ordered from 30 March and will arrive in dealer showrooms in summer 2021.
Design: Sensual purity with a sporty and elegant touch
The new C-Class already looks to be in motion at a standstill with its dynamic proportions, thanks to the combination of short front overhang, long wheelbase and rear overhang. The sporty bonnet with power domes accentuates this urge of forward motion. The windscreen and passenger cell have been moved to the rear for these classic proportions known in the industry as "cab-backward design". The preceding model was already a great step forward in terms of a high-value appeal in the interior, and the new C-Class goes even further with respect to modern luxury. The interior adopts highlights from the new S-Class, adding a sporty touch.
Exterior design: Profile with attractive light effects
When viewed from the side, elaborately sculptured surfaces create unique light effects. Conversely, the designers have reduced lines to a minimum, which accentuates the so-called catwalk line or shoulder line even more. In the Estate model, the progressive roof line in combination with the inclined rear window adds a sporty touch without functional compromises. Other features producing the sporty, superior appearance include the wide track and the flush 17- to 19-inch wheels in modern designs.
The brand's hallmark radiator grille characterises the front. All models feature a central star, with the design and character of the radiator grille differing in the details. The base model has a central star and louvres. In the AVANTGARDE line, there are additional decorative elements in the louvres, while the radiator grille and front apron feature chrome surrounds. The distinguishing feature of the AMG Line is the diamond grille with the star design in chrome.
The rear-end design is typical of a Mercedes-Benz saloon. The high-quality design of the tail lamps fascinates with an unmistakable day and night appearance. In the Saloon, the lamps for the first time have a two-piece design in the
C-Class, with the light functions divided between the side wall and boot lid lamps. Their precisely configured interiors also showcase the standard of particularly high quality in detail. Optional or line-specific trim in the rear bumper attractively rounds off the rear view. Three new paint finishes – spectral blue, high-tech silver and opalite white – have been added to the colour range.
Interior design: sporty touches thanks to the driver-centred design
The dashboard is divided into an upper and a lower section: into a wing-like section with new, flattened round vents reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles, and into an opulent expanse of trim. The latter flows from the centre console to the dashboard without interruption. Driver-focus adds to the sportiness: the dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver by six degrees.
The driver area features a high-resolution LCD screen. It is free-standing, and appears to float in front of the wing profile and the expanse of trim. This sets the driver display apart from traditional cockpits with classic round dials. Customers have a choice between a 10.25-inch (26.0 cm) or a 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) version.
The paradigm change to digitisation is also obvious in the central display: the vehicle functions can be controlled using the high-quality touchscreen. Its portrait orientation is particularly advantageous for navigation. The touchscreen likewise appears to float above the expanse of trim. Like the dashboard, the screen is slightly tilted towards the driver. The central display has a screen diagonal of 9.5 inches (24.1 cm) as standard. A larger version measuring 11.9 inches or 30.2 cm is optionally available.
A high-quality chrome insert divides the centre console into a rear, padded section for the armrest and a front section in lustrous jet black. The seemingly free-floating central display rises smoothly and seamlessly from this three-dimensional surface.
The modern, highly reduced design of door panels frames both ends of the dashboard. The door centre panel with integrated armrest evolves from a vertical surface into a horizontal orientation. Reflecting the design of the centre console, the front section takes the form of a metallic high-tech element. It can be used as a grab or closing handle, and houses the power window controls. Another highlight is the floating control cluster, into which the door opener and seat adjustment controls are integrated.
The special design of the optional AVANTGARDE or sport seats of the new C-Class uses layers and enveloping surfaces to create a visual impression of lightness. The head restraints are a completely new design and are attached to the backrest with a sealed piece of trim under which the adjustment mechanism is located.
A dashboard covered with man-made leather and featuring nappa-look beltlines is available for the C-Class (optional equipment, standard with AMG Line). The range of available trim showcases innovative surfaces. These include new interpretations of open-pored veneers in brown tones and a black, open-pored wood veneer featuring fine inlays of genuine aluminium that follow the dashboard's contours.
The driver display and media display offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. The look of the screens can be individualised with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service). In "Sporty", for example, the colour red is predominant and the central rev counter has a dynamic design. If any of the lines are selected, the new C-Class is equipped with ambient lighting featuring optical fibres as standard.
Like the new S-Class, the new C-Class is equipped with the second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). The vehicle interior becomes even more digital and intelligent, as both the hardware and software have made great strides: Brilliant images on the LCD screens make it easy to control vehicle and comfort functions.
The driver display and media display offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. The information is presented in a clearly structured way. Mercedes-Benz developed a new display aesthetic for the S-Class, which now is systematically used as the basis for other models.
The look of the screens can be individualised with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service).
The full-screen navigation was adopted from the S-Class, and gives the driver the best possible guidance on a journey.
Hey Mercedes: the increasingly sharp voice assistant
The voice assistant "Hey Mercedes" becomes more interactive and capable of learning by activating online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword "Hey Mercedes". These include taking a telephone call. "Hey Mercedes" also explains vehicle functions, and, for example, can help when asked how to connect a smartphone by Bluetooth or where the first-aid kit can be found. "Hey Mercedes" is also able to recognise the vehicle occupants by their voices.
Smart Home: Mobile intelligence for maximum operating convenience from a distance
With the MBUX Smart Home function, the C-Class now becomes a mobile control centre for the home of many people. Because Smart Home refers to WLAN, sensors and actuators make the home increasingly intelligent and communicative: temperature and lights, shutters and electrical appliances can be remotely monitored and controlled. Motion detectors and window contacts inform the user of welcome or unwelcome visitors.
"Hey Mercedes, is there anybody in my home right now?" "I checked. The last movement detected was in the kitchen one hour ago." This is how future conversations between the driver or passenger and the user's smart home might go using the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) voice assistant. At the market launch, the MBUX Smart Home function will support numerous devices offered by important smart home providers – corresponding contracts have already been concluded with Bosch Smart Home and Samsung SmartThings. Further providers will follow, and be announced at a later stage. Right from the start, Hey Mercedes understands queries and commands in four languages (German, Chinese, American and British English). One can address lamps, sockets, thermostats, shutters and blinds, motion detectors and door or window contacts, as well as temperature sensors. So the system can also answer this question: "Did I remember to turn the heating down?" Depending on the response and the thermostats installed in the home, it is possible to change the setting: "Set the temperature to 18 degrees in the whole house!" In this way, Smart Home integration into MBUX helps to reduce home energy consumption. It also enhances comfort, because the heating can also be remotely turned up again in good time.
Music streaming: millions of songs to choose from
With the "Online Music" service, Mercedes-Benz has now fully integrated the major music streaming services into the MBUX infotainment system. MBUX enables seamless access to the personal user profile at the linked music provider. This not only gives customers convenient access to their favourite songs and personal playlists, but also the opportunity to discover millions of songs and curated playlists. Operation is intuitive, using the MBUX voice assistant "Hey Mercedes" or touch controls on the steering wheel, or directly on the central display.
Augmented Video is available as optional equipment. A camera registers the surroundings in front of the vehicle. The moving images are shown on the central display. In addition, virtual objects, information and markers are superimposed on the video image. These include, e.g. traffic signs, directional arrows, lane-change recommendations and house numbers. This can make navigation much easier, especially in urban areas.
A colour head-up display can be ordered as optional equipment. The driver sees a virtual image measuring 9 x 3 inches (approx. 23 x 8 cm) floating above the bonnet at a distance of about 4.5 m.
A fingerprint scanner is located in an ergonomic position below the central display. This allows users to log into MBUX quickly, conveniently and securely. The reason being that personal settings and data such as favourites, most recent destinations, behaviour-based predictions, business calendar entries or emails are protected. Payment processes via Mercedes me are also reserved to authenticated users.
"Over-the-air" (OTA) updates: The software is always kept up-to-date
As soon as a new update from Mercedes-Benz becomes available, a message appears in MBUX. The update is downloaded and installed in the background. The user then has to agree explicitly to its activation again. In this way the vehicle is always up-to-date. Features which have not even been invented yet can also be installed by means of OTA updates in vehicles already sold. To transfer the data, Mercedes-Benz relies on mobile communications technology and the communication module installed in the vehicle due to the high security standard.
Another way to ensure an up-to-date and improved user experience is to book new functions in the Mercedes me Store, e.g. music streaming services or In-Car Office. Subscription services can also be renewed or newly added directly online via the Mercedes me Store.
In the last decade, the C-Class was the highest-volume Mercedes-Benz model. Since the introduction of the still current generation in 2014, over 2.5 million Saloon and Estate models have been sold. China has been the largest sales market for the C-Class Saloon since 2016. In addition, the USA, Germany and Great Britain have been the largest sales markets for the C-Class Saloon and Estate models in the last ten years. In 2020, the C-Class Saloon and Estate were delivered to customers in more than 100 markets around the world. Two out of every three C-Class cars sold in Germany are the Estate variant.
The C-Class success story began in 1982. This was when the Mercedes-Benz 190 was launched as a mid-size model. Because it was the smallest car in the Mercedes-Benz range at the time, it soon earned the nickname 'Baby Benz'. It was not only with combustion engines – for example the sporty 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution with a four-valve engine – that Mercedes-Benz repeatedly made its mark, but also with alternative powertrains: For example, the 190 E Elektro as an experimental car based on the 201 series was presented at the Innovation Market of the Hanover Fair in 1990, and at the Geneva Motor Show in 1991. Two electric motors excited by permanent magnets, each with 16 kW (21 hp), fed by sodium/nickel chloride batteries powered the rear wheels.
The first car under the C-Class designation was introduced in May 1993. All in all, over 10.5 million Mercedes-Benz cars in this category have been delivered to customers since 1982. For many customers, the C-Class is the entry-level model to the premium car segment. In China and South Korea, the C-Class Saloon is their first vehicle from a premium brand for around 50 percent of buyers. In many markets, the C-Class Saloon attracts a high proportion of female customers. The percentage of women is particularly high in the USA and South Korea: nearly one in every two C-Class Saloons is purchased by women.
Mercedes-Benz also broke new ground at the time, not only in terms of engineering but also because of the wider range of body shapes. The Estate model introduced by the company in 1996 was its first sporty, mid-size estate car. When Mercedes-Benz launched the next C-Class model series in 2000, it included the Sports Coupé, a completely new body variant. The market launch of the fourth C-Class generation in 2007 also saw the introduction of a new design feature. For the first time, the front-end design of a Mercedes-Benz Saloon varied according to the design and equipment line. While the ELEGANCE design and equipment line featured the three-pointed star in its traditional position on the bonnet, it was mounted in the centre of the radiator grille in the more sporty AVANTGARDE design and equipment line.
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 The data are preliminary; the vehicle is not on sale yet. The stated figures are the measured "WLTP CO2 figures" in accordance with Article 2 No. 3 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures. Power consumption and range were determined on the basis of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 2017/1151.
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