Now, in its fifth year of production, the current generation C-Class which is one of the successful model series from Mercedes-Benz is being updated with a wealth of enhancements.
In terms of looks, the focus of the redesign work was on the front of the vehicle as well as the design of the headlamps and tail lamps. The electronic architecture is completely new. The customer benefits from a user experience with an optionally fully digital instrument display and multimedia systems with tailor-made information and music. The assistance systems are now at the level of the S‑Class. There are also new petrol and diesel engines.
The brand sold a combined total of over 415,000 Saloon and Estate models of the C-Class 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 launched at the end of 2015 and the cabriolet available since the summer of 2016.
The C-Class is produced at four plants on four continents. These are the lead plant in Bremen (Germany) plus East London (South Africa), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Beijing (China). The Beijing plant also produces the long version of the C-Class Saloon, which is built and sold exclusively in China. China was the biggest market for the C-Class in 2017.
A new generation of four-cylinder petrol engines Is being launched in the new C-Class. At the same time the 1.5-litre versions in the C 200 and C 200 4MATIC have an additional 48 volt system with a belt-driven starter/alternator.
The combination of a 48 volt on-board network and EQ Boost creates the conditions for additional functions that help to reduce fuel consumption even further, while improving agility and comfort characteristics. When accelerating, EQ Boost can assist the 135 kW (184 hp) engine with an additional 10 kW (14 hp), bridging the brief moment until the turbocharger has built up its full charge pressure.
This boosting is also used to reach the engine’s ideal rpm as quickly as possible during gearshifts. The shift time of the automatic transmission is shortened as a result. During deceleration, the starter/alternator recuperates kinetic energy and charges the battery. The water pump is electrically driven and actuated by a characteristic map. This optimally adapts the cooling output to the current need.
The new 1.6-litre variant of the current diesel engine family is celebrating its world premiere in the C-Class. In the OM 654 D16, both the bore and stroke (78 x 83.6 mm) are reduced compared to the two-litre version, the OM 654 D20 (82 x 92.3 mm). The main focus of the development work was on further reduction of friction losses.
Both variants of the OM 654 employ the Mercedes-Benz stepped-bowl combustion process – named after the shape of the combustion bowl in the piston. The innovations also include the combination of an aluminium engine block and steel pistons, as well as the further-improved Nanoslide coating of the cylinder walls.