"Since the sales release date at the end of January, more than 55,000 customers in western Europe alone have decided in favor of the new C-Class," said Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG and Head of the Mercedes Car Grou, in his preliminary remarks at the Mercedes-Benz press conference in Geneva. "We are confident that the new C-Class will continue the success story of its predecessor, of which more than two million units were sold," Zetsche continued.
The fourth-generation C-Class has captured the enthusiasm of customers with its unique combination of safety, comfort and agility. The standard appointments of all variants include the innovative AGILITY CONTROL package with its situation-responsive shock-absorber control, which opens up new dimensions in handling refinement: it combines typical Mercedes comfort with extraordinarily agile driving characteristics. The new C-Class is powered by state-of-the-art four and six-cylinder engines which consume up to six percent less fuel than the preceding models, accompanied by an increase in output of up to 13 percent. Despite a variety of technical innovations and even more generous standard appointments, and taking inflation into account, the price of the new C-Class remains at the same level as that of the preceding series. In Germany and other European countries, the entry-level price including tax is still below 30,000 EUR.
Exemplary safety and a versatile product concept
The C-Class also sets new standards in its segment where safety is concerned. Examples include the Intelligent Light System with five different lighting functions and the PRE-SAFE(R) system with its anticipatory occupant protection features. In addition, the new C-Class Saloon excels with a particularly versatile product concept which meets the expectations of different customer target groups. In the form of the AVANTGARDE, ELEGANCE and CLASSIC lines, Mercedes-Benz offers three individual model variants which place different emphases on comfort or agility.
The concept of two different product personalities within the same series is also given a visual emphasis in the new C-Class, as it is the first Mercedes saloon to appear with two different "faces": the AVANTGARDE models have the Mercedes star at the centre of the radiator grille and thereby follow the styling lead of the sporty Mercedes models, especially the coupés. The more traditional ELEGANCE and CLASSIC variants bear the star on the bonnet as before.
World premiere of the first BLUETEC four-cylinder engine in the Vision C 220 BLUETEC
In a study based on the new C-Class, Mercedes-Benz is also presenting its innovative BLUETEC emissions control technology in combination with a highly fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine for the first time in Geneva. In terms of ensuring compliance with the even stricter EURO 6 emission standard, applicable to all new vehicles Europe-wide from 2015, the Vision C 220 BLUETEC shows the way ahead. Boasting an output of 170 hp and a peak torque of 400 Nm, the Vision C 220 BLUETEC consumes a mere 5.5 liters of diesel per hundred kilometers.
"The sophisticated four-cylinder diesel engine with BLUETEC emission control is a prime example of leading-edge, future-compatible technology," explains Dr Dieter Zetsche. "Our diesel strategy is an effective answer to the question of how to save fuel and, therefore, CO2, how to further reduce all exhaust emissions including NOx and yet still ensure effortlessly superior driving enjoyment. In this respect, we believe our state-of-the-art diesel concept is currently the best and most efficient solution available." With the Vision C 220 BLUETEC, Mercedes-Benz is providing a taste of things to come as part of its BLUETEC initiative which was launched in the US last autumn. The initial impetus came from the market launch of the E 320 BLUETEC in North America in October 2006, which was timed to coincide with the introduction of low-sulfur diesel in that part of the world. A fuel consumption figure of 6.7 liters per hundred kilometers makes the E 320 BLUETEC one of the most economical vehicles in its class in the US.
With the first four-cylinder BLUETEC model, Mercedes-Benz illustrates just how versatile this innovative technology can be. Following the US launch, the company will also introduce BLUETEC in other markets. The technology is currently being adapted to European market requirements and further Mercedes-Benz models, the aim being to also offer this environmentally friendly and highly economical technology for European customers as well from 2008, first of all in the E-Class.
New C-Class: CO2 emissions already reduced by 15 percent
The standard-production version of the new C-Class is testament to the successful work performed by Mercedes-Benz in its quest to consistently reduce both fuel consumption and emissions. A lifecycle assessment carried out on the new Saloon, certified by the German technical inspection authorities (TüV), confirms that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for what is now the fourth-generation C-Class have been reduced by 15 percent. This corresponds to nine tons per vehicle. This makes the new C-Class the only car in its market segment to possess an environmental certificate.