Mercedes has launched the latest generation of C-Class saloons and estates. Since the introduction of the still-current generation in 2014, over 2.5 million saloon and estate models have been sold. All in all, over 10.5 million Mercedes-Benz cars in this category have been delivered to customers since 1982.
The company says the C-Class has taken another major step forward with respect to digitisation and high quality, with the interior now featuring a display and operating concept adopted from the new S-Class, with a sporty interpretation. This is accentuated by another design feature: the dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver.
Mercedes-Benz management about the new C-Class
“The letters C and S sit at opposite ends of the alphabet. However, in our portfolio they’re now moving closer together. The C-Class is already our best-selling saloon. Still, I’m certain our new C-Class will excite even more customers with a wide range of high-tech features derived from our flagship S-Class. With the latest generation MBUX, rear-axle steering and comprehensive electrification, our most successful model range will once again raise the bar as the most sophisticated offering in its segment.”
Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG
Latest generation of MBUX
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 more digital and intelligent.
Hey Mercedes 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.
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.
“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.
Powertrain: systematic electrification of the modern four-cylinder engines
The engine range has only four-cylinder units from the current modular FAME (Family of Modular Engines) Mercedes-Benz engine family. In addition to turbocharging, both the diesel and the petrol engines now have an integrated starter-generator (ISG) for intelligent assistance at low engine speeds as a mild hybrid of the second generation. This ensures outstanding power delivery. The ISG uses a 48 volt on-board electrical system that ensures functions such as gliding, boosting or energy recovery, and makes significant fuel savings possible.
First diesel with an integrated starter-generator
Spearhead of the efficiency improvement measures is the new OM 654 M with an integrated second-generation starter-generator (ISG). It has a 48-volt partial on-board electrical system. An energy recovery function and the ability to “glide” with the engine switched off make the engine even more efficient. Along with electrification, which also includes the use of an electric refrigerant compressor for the air conditioning system, the most important modifications that make an output of up to 195 kW plus an additional 15 kW from the EQ Boost system possible are:
- A new crankshaft increases the stroke to 94.3 mm and the displacement to 1992 cc (previously: 92.3 and 1950).
- The injection pressure is increased to 2700 bar (previously 2500)
- Particularly fast response times and uniform power delivery thanks to two water-cooled turbochargers, both now featuring variable turbine geometry.
- A sodium-filled cooling duct in each of the steel pistons. This helps to dissipate temperature peaks in the combustion cavity of the pistons.
In terms of exhaust gas aftertreatment, this most powerful of the four-cylinder diesel engines also takes things one step further. Its components include:
- a close-coupled NOx storage catalytic converter for reducing nitrogen oxides
- a DPF (diesel particulate filter with special coating for reducing also the amount of nitrogen oxides)
- an SCR catalytic converter (selective catalytic reduction with metered injected quantity of AdBlue®) and
- an additional SCR catalytic converter in the vehicle’s underbody, with a separately metered injected quantity of AdBlue
Four-cylinder petrol engine also with a second-generation ISG
The four-cylinder M 254 petrol engine with a second-generation starter-generator with an additional output of up to 15 kW and 148 lb ft more torque is also celebrating its première in the C-Class.
A completely new feature is the segment charger with flow connection, an advancement of the twin-scroll technology for even more instantaneous response of the forced induction system. The completely newly developed segment turbocharger is a result of cooperation between Mercedes-Benz turbocharger developers and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. The technology transfer to series production sets new standards with respect to power combined with maximum efficiency. For short periods, the output of the C 300 (combined CO2 emissions: 159-150 g/km)2 can additionally be increased by up to 20 kW overboost.
Transmission: Automatic now standard across the board
The 9G-TRONIC transmission was developed further for adapting the ISG, and is installed in all C-Class models. The electric motor, power electronics and transmission cooler have now moved into or to the transmission. Previously required lines are eliminated, which offers advantages with regard to installation space and weight. In addition, the efficiency of the transmission has been increased.
Plug-in hybrids with an electric range of around 100 kilometres/60 miles (WLTP)
Fourth-generation plug-in hybrids will follow soon after the launch. Electrification is taking a great step forward while using the same base engines. With an electric output of 95 kW (127 bhp) and an all-electric range of around 100 kilometres, or about 60 miles (WLTP), the plug-in hybrid C-Class will operate in all-electric mode in many cases – and on many days without using the combustion engine at all. This is the two-litre variant of theM 254 four-cylinder engine. Diesel plug-in hybrid Saloon and Estate models will follow.
The high-voltage (HV) battery has been developed in-house by Mercedes-Benz AG. It is part of a fourth-generation family of batteries and represents a logical evolution of the previous generation. The battery has a total capacity of 25.4 kWh, thereby bringing about a significant increase in electrical range to around 100 kilometres, or about sixty miles.