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Mercedes outs new C-Class – a bit

Benz teases new bigger, lighter C-Class ahead of Detroit motor show debut

22 Oct 2013

MERCEDES-BENZ has embarked on a teaser campaign for its all-important fourth-generation C-Class that is set to star at the 2014 Detroit motor show in January.

The German car-maker has released a video of the new, larger C-Class that is expected to land in Australia about the middle of next year, complete with optional hybrid powertrains for the first time.

The Stuttgart company has also released photos of the new interior of the company’s top-selling sedan, showing a high-end finish with a big free-standing LCD screen.

The video shows an E-Class-style grille and an overall body shape reminiscent of the new S-Class that is set to make its debut in Australia this month at Motorclassica, in Melbourne.

The new W205 C-Class will sit on a new MRA (modular rear architecture) platform to be shared with the upcoming GLK midsized SUV and boasting a 2850mm wheelbase, 90mm longer than the current C-Class.

Thanks to that stretch, the C-Class will be not only roomier, but also longer, helping to set it apart from the new front-wheel-drive CLA that has encroached on the C-Class’s territory since its release this year.

The C-Class will remain fundamentally a rear-drive car, although all-wheel-drive 4MATIC will also be available, at least in Europe. An optional nine-speed automatic transmission is also on the cards, at least in high-end models.

Mercedes suggests the new modular platform, with a body made of up to 48 per cent aluminium and extensive use of high-strength steel and other modifications, will deliver a “best in class” kerb weight, with savings of up to 100kg over the current range.

4 center imageLeft: Mercedes-Benz C-Class interior.

This will contribute to improved fuel consumption on all models, despite the car’s larger dimensions. Naturally, the biggest cuts in thirst will come from the hybrid models that are expected to make their debut early in the launch phase, along with the usual standard four-cylinder, six-cylinder and V8 variants.

The AMG models are likely to follow, giving the new range a second wave later in 2014.

By 2015, a five-door lift-back version is expected to arrive in showrooms to take on the new BMW 3 Series GT and Audi A5 Sportback.

The new chassis comprises a fresh four-link front suspension and five-link rear set up giving what Benz describes as “unsurpassed wheel location qualities” along with excellent straight-line stability and “outstanding NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) qualities”.

Also confirmed is an optional Airmatic suspension on some models, while most models will get three suspension selections – Comfort, Direct Control and Sport.

A pioneering feature is a new air-conditioning system that uses GPS to detect tunnels to close the air recirculation system to block fumes.

Mercedes-Benz Australia-Pacific senior manager corporate communications David McCarthy told GoAuto that the exact date of C-Class’s arrival in Australia had yet to be confirmed.

“It could be the second quarter or third quarter,” he said. “We haven’t been advised of production dates yet.” The current Mercedes C-Class is the top-selling luxury sedan in Australia, accounting for one in every three medium luxury passenger car sales so far this year.

However, with the new, more affordable CLA now in showrooms, the current C-Class is expected to feel the pressure from its sibling, at last until the new model arrives.

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