Brian Joss – Mercedes Benz South Africa launched the new edition of its highly successful C-Class range Johannesburg this week.
The C-Class is the most successful model series from Mercedes-Benz, and the new edition boasts a wealth of enhancements. In terms of looks, the car features a redesigned front end, with new-look headlamps and tail lamps. The electronics are new, with safety and driver assistance systems now at the level of the flagship S‑Class series. There are also new petrol and diesel engines across the range.
The current generation C-Class was Mercedes-Benz top-selling model, selling more than 415,000 cars worldwide in 2017. The secret of the C-Class’s success is partly down to the wide model range, also including two sporty two-door versions: the Coupé and the Cabriolet, which have opened up entire new audiences in the local market, says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director of Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa.
“South Africans just love the C-Class. This new model is our sportiest and most dynamic C-Class to date, and with its looks, safety and performance, we’re confident it’s going to appeal to a broader audience than ever before,” says Govender.
The new C-Class has a strong South African flavour: it’s built in Mercedes-Benz East London plant. Mercedes-Benz recently announced the investment of R10-billion to significantly expand the C-Class production plant in East London and to equip it for the future. The decision to have the new generation of C-Class (W206) in East London re-affirms the plant and Mercedes-Benz commitment to South Africa.
“This investment represents Mercedes-Benz confidence in South Africa and its labour force for our popular C-Class range,” said Johannes Fritz, CO-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The C-Class features a new electronic architecture, with the major addition being the latest Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems. This puts the new series on a par with the S-Class, providing a higher level of active safety than ever and the ability to drive semi-autonomously in even more situations. The interior has also been given a facelift. The sporty interior’s centre console is characterised by an elegant flowing trim element, with the option of new materials: open-pore brown walnut or open-pore anthracite oak. The new Multicontour Seat package now offers a massage: the side bolsters and lumbar support can be individually adjusted by means of an electrically driven pneumatic pump, with a massage effect in the lumbar area available through air chambers which are inflated and deflated in a pulsing motion.
The car’s new display concept includes an optional, fully-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster, and the upgraded infotainment system includes standard smartphone integration that can be accessed through touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel, which respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. The operation of DISTRONIC and cruise control with controls directly on the steering wheel is another new feature.
The C-Class sees the launch of a new generation of four-cylinder petrol engines. There is a new 4-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine in the C200, with 9-speed automatic transmission across the range. The 1.5-litre engine is supplemented with a 48-volt on-board network and the EQ Boost integrated starter-generator that produces an additional 10 kW and 160 Nm while accelerating. There’s also a new-generation 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine in the C300, with outputs of 190kw and 370Nm.The new 1.6-litre variant of the current diesel engine family will celebrate its world premiere in the C-Class. The C 220 d 4MATIC providing a healthy 143 kW and 400 Nm.
There’s also more performance for the mighty range-topping C43 4MATIC, which boasts a V6 biturbo engine that combines powerful output with low consumption and emissions. For the new C-Class, the AMG development engineers have increased the output of the 3.0-litre V6 engine by 17 kW to 287 kW. The peak torque of 520 Nm is available from 2500 to 5000 rpm.
Another feature is the automatic notification if the vehicle suffers an impact caused by another vehicle when parked, is towed away or there is a break-in attempt. The highly sensitive sensors of the standard “Anti-theft alarm system (ATA)” can detect such situations and immediately send a “push notification” message to the Mercedes me App. The optional feature includes the new sensors and the corresponding software.
Caption: Mercedes Benz new C-Class: features galore. Picture: Motorpress