"With the new C-Class, we are yet again raising the bar in this important segment of the market - and that's true right across the board, especially in terms of safety, comfort and agility," declared Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of DaimlerChrysler AG and head of the Mercedes Car Group, at the world premiere, which was held in the Mercedes-Benz World in Stuttgart. "With its unique balance of driving characteristics, the fourth C-Class generation embodies a new driving culture in the compact premium car segment. We are thus offering our customers the most versatile and majestic C-Class of all time - and, for the first time, in two attractive outfits."
First Mercedes saloon with two different faces
The new C-Class is the first Mercedes saloon to feature equipment lines with different faces. In the more traditional Elegance and Classic models, the star is, as before, to be found on the engine bonnet, while, in the avant-garde versions, the trademark is positioned in the centre of the radiator grille, as is typical in sporty models from Mercedes. "Starting already with the vehicle's external appearance," says Zetsche, "each customer can decide for him or herself where they want the emphasis to be." With its distinctive styling, the new premium-segment saloon offers its own unique interpretation of Mercedes-Benz's current style statement and makes the technological supremacy and quality of the new C-Class apparent at the first glance.
Latest safety technology for optimal occupant protection
Alongside its renowned comfort, the traditional strengths of the C-Class include the vehicle's exemplary occupant protection. Thanks to its integrated security concept, the new model continues to lead the way in its class, with greater active safety being afforded, for example, by the adaptive braking system from the S-Class and the Intelligent Light System with five automatic lighting functions. A new era in safety and ergonomics is ushered in by the C-Class's innovative instrumentation and control concept, which noticeably reduces the burden on the driver and prevents him or her from being distracted.
As far as passive safety is concerned, the new C-Class meets significantly higher standards than are required around the world by the various statutory regulations. The standard equipment includes seven airbags as well as active head restraints. In addition, the new C-Class - like the large Mercedes saloons and SUVs - is also available with the PRE-SAFE(R) anticipatory occupant protection system.
Wide range of economical and powerful engines
Customers can choose from a range of state-of-the-art four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. At its market launch in the spring, the new C-Class saloon will come in three petrol-engined versions (C 200, C 280 and C 350) as well as in a four-cylinder diesel variant (C 220 CDI). In the course of the year, Mercedes-Benz will extend the available range to include, among others, the C 320 CDI V6 diesel engine as well as two four-cylinder versions, the C 180 and the C 200 CDI. The development engineers at Mercedes-Benz have focused above all on improving the popular four-cylinder engines, the outstanding qualities of which now include lower fuel consumption, higher power output and superbly smooth operation.
In Germany, despite the rise in VAT to 19 percent, the gross entry-level price for the new C-Class is still below 30,000 euros, which means that, adjusted for inflation, the price level of the new C-Class is the same as for its predecessor, over two million units of which have been sold around the world since its market launch in 2000.