Mercedes-Benz had forged a reputation through the better part of the last century of building rock-solid large saloons that were chock-full of luxury and seemingly always over-engineered. In 1982 some people may have thought that the company was taking a massive gamble when it decided to produce a small sedan in the shape of the 190E. That car, internal code W201, was the precursor to the C-Class. But the ‘gamble’ paid off and over five generations the ‘entry-level’ sedan sold in excess of 10,5 million units worldwide. Earlier today an all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class was unveiled. 

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Baby S-Class

The W206 generation C-Class takes many cues from the S-Class saloon, which made its debut last year (our original story can be found at this link). Its design language is heavily influenced by the larger saloon. Another carryover from the S-Class is the (optional) adoption of rear-wheel-steering. The arrangement makes the new C more manouvreable at low speeds more stable at high speeds.

Now that the C-Class is no longer the entry point into Mercedes sedan ownership (that mantle has passed to the A-Class) its dimensions have increased in all directions. Front occupants are afforded an additional 25 mm of elbow- and shoulder room. The wheelbase has grown 25,4 mm, which gives rear-seat passengers extra legroom. Headroom in the rear has increased by 15 mm while the car’s overall height has been lowered by 10 mm.

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The interior also gains from technology developed for and perfected in the S-Class. Among the highlights are the car’s massive infotainment screen. It occupies centre stage on the facia in portrait orientation. The entire facia is angled towards the driver by six degrees for a more driver-centric feel.

Powertrain options

Mercedes has already stated that the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class will only have four-cylinder engines. There will be no six-pot or V8 versions, not even in the range-topping AMG derivatives. These new-gen inline fours will all be turbocharged, electrified and coupled with nine-speed automatic transmissions. The integrated starter-generator (ISG) has a 48-Volt on-board electrical system. An energy recovery function and the ability to ‘glide’ with the engine switched off make the entire engine range more fuel efficient. 

Petrol-powered units badged C180 (125 kW/250 N.m) and C200 (150 kW/300 N.m) displace 1,5-litres. C300 variants are powered by a 2,0-litre engine with 190 kW with 400 N.m of torque. The turbodiesel versions are all powered by 2,0-litre units. The lower powered oil-burning derivative is called C220d (147 kW/440 N.m) and the more powerful of the pair is a C300d (195 kW/550 N.m). There has been no news released as yet regarding a potential SA engine line-up or introduction date.

Learn more about the All-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class in the official video below.