As the abundant test mules photographs show, Mercedes-Benz have in preparation their new premium medium sedan, the C-class. The old rival for the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4, is suppose to enter the arena with a new installment in 2007, at the Geneva International Motorshow. The station wagon is scheduled six month later and the platform-sharing CLK coupe and cabriolet are due in 2008.
The new C-Class is a key- model for Mercedes-Benz, as it makes a really important percentage of the total sales. It is not the technological showcase, S-Class is, but it is one of the vehicles to make the brand profitable. Apparently, for cost reduction purposes, it will share the same technical platform with the larger E-Class, but it will be tuned for a much more sharper driver response. Mercedes -Benz intends to make the new C-Class for the very first time a true sports saloon, and not a smaller answer to the E. This intention is justified by the major success recently seen by the sporty BMW 3-Series.
The official unveiling will be held at the Geneva 2007 Motor Show with sales starting shortly after. The station wagon is suppose to arrive six months later, in the fall of 2007. Sharing the same platform and design tendencies will be the new CLK coupe and cabriolet.
It’s a clear thing that the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class will directly target the BMW’s E90 3 Series. Like the rest of the medium luxury sedans, the C-Class was never able to match the BMW success. The previous generation brought the battle closer with new engines, sport suspensions and sporty styling revisions. All these changes have helped, but the C-Class was still no match for the 3 Series. It was good against the Audi A4 and Lexus IS, but not great.
The new C-Class is not expected to grow much in size and the styling will also not make a radical change. As seen on test prototypes the front lights seem to have a more square appearance in contrast with the curvaceous lines of the previous model.
The rear-end design is expected to feature elements from the latest S-Class, translated in a sportier general feel. As you can see from the renderings provided by our designers the car will have a more athletic and sturdy stance. All of these will e mixed with the current tendencies of maximizing interior room and comfort.
The sophisticated air suspension or the Active Body Control will not be offered due to cost reduction reasons. The expected power-units will be the basis direct injection 4-cylinder 1.8-litre with power ranging between 150 and 190 bhp. The 2.5- and 3.5-liter V6 will offer 210 and 270 bhp respectively. The top AMG 5.4-litre is expected to be updated in order to match the Audi RS4 and future BMW M3, and will offer about 400-410 bhp. Also available will be the 3.0-litre diesel and the new Command operating concept found in the new S-Class, but in a simplified version. 4MATIC AWD system is most likely to be available as well.
Prices are expected to increase slightly, but they will not make a big departure from the current models
The original C-Class was introduced to the public in 1993 as a replacement for the 190 model. It was the cheapest model in the Mercedes lineup until the arrival of the A-Class in 1998. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was built at the Mercedes-Benz factories in the German towns of
The C-Class was introduced in 1993, as a competitor to BMW’s E36 3 Series, as its predecessor, the 190, had been. The C-Class become immensely popular, quickly getting the title of Mercedes-Benz’s best-selling class of vehicles worldwide. Much of its popularity was due to its affordability. At the time the C-Class sedans were the entry level to the Mercedes-Benz range, but now are no longer the smallest, least expensive sedans offered by Mercedes-Benz. The model also kept the sporty image of the 190 with a smoother and more rounded appearance than lines than the other vehicles produced by Mercedes at the time, its sporty image giving birth to a competition version in the German Touring Car Championship.
The second generation C-Class was introduced in 2000, with an even sportier look than the previous generations, with a sportier fascia and shortened rear. The sedan debuted with a range of straight-four and V6 petrol engines and straight-four and straight-five Diesels. The V6 poweplants were versions of the previous model with increased displacement, to 2.6 L and 3.2 L, this one with 218 bhp. The Diesels now featured common rail direct injection and variable geometry turbochargers. Six-speed manual gearboxes were now standard for nearly the entire range (except the C 320 and C 270 CDI). For the first time, the number designations were no longer equivalent to the engine displacement, more specifically in the C 180 (2.0 L), C 240 (2.6 L) and C 200 CDI (2.2 L).
The main competitor for the new Mercedes C-Class will be the highly successful BMW 3-Series, the current benchmark for this class of vehicles. For a few years now the BMW 3-Series have been honored with lots of prizes: Automobile Magazine name it "Automobile of the year", Car and Driver "Best luxury Sport Sedan" and "World car of the year" by an international jury of 46 automotive journalists. With its satisfying combination of power, performance and day-to-day practicality, the world’s first sport sedan is still the best.
For 2007 the world’s first sport sedan and wagon get even better with new engines, new model names, new transmissions, improved performance, new color and additional interior updates.
328i and 328xi come to replace the 2006 325i and 325xi
The top speed is electronically limited to 149 mph. Comparing to the 2006 model that made the 0 - 60 mph sprint in 6.7 second (manual transmission) and 7.2 sec (automatic transmission), the 2007 model will have an improvement of 0.4 seconds and 0.3 seconds, that will mean: 6.3 seconds for the manual transmission and 6.9 seconds for the automatic one. The exterior will be also different: the Crimson Red will replace the Electric Red and the Montego Blue metallic will replace Mystic Blue metallic.
Click here to read our complete 2007 BMW 3-Series review.