Step into a cutting-edge realm of increased digitization and heightened efficiency, where you’ll find your haven: the latest 2022 Mercedes Benz C Class embodies both sentiments, forging a future-proof sanctuary amidst global transformation. Pioneering a significant milestone, the new C-Class proudly claims the title of the inaugural classic Mercedes-Benz model series to undergo full electrification, courtesy of an integrated starter-generator and advanced 48-volt technology. Not only does it lead the charge in electrification, but it also establishes benchmarks for sustainability. Given the C-Class’s status as one of the brand’s most prolific model series, this deliberate shift towards electrification leaves an indelible mark on our carbon footprint. Anticipate the arrival of the all-new 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan in Kenyan dealerships in the early months of 2022. Mercedes Benz C Class is a noteworthy mention in the best compact luxury sedans in Kenya, this new model further cements its place on that list.
Design: Sensual purity with a sporty and elegant touch
Elegance meets dynamism in the poised stance of the new C-Class, seemingly in motion even when at a standstill, a testament to its dynamic proportions. Achieving this effect is the harmonious blend of a concise front overhang, an elongated wheelbase, and a gracefully extended rear overhang. The athletic hood, adorned with power domes, further emphasizes the impression of perpetual forward momentum. Noteworthy is the strategic relocation of the windshield and passenger cell towards the rear, embracing the esteemed “cab-backward design” synonymous with classic proportions in the industry.
Building on the strides made by its predecessor, which already showcased a remarkable leap in high-value appeal within the interior, the new C-Class takes the concept of modern luxury to greater heights. Drawing inspiration from the new S-Class, the interior incorporates key elements, infusing a sporty flair into the mix.
Exterior design: Profile with attractive light effects
From a lateral perspective, the new C-Class reveals a tapestry of intricately sculpted surfaces that play with light, crafting unique and captivating visual effects. Simultaneously, a deliberate reduction of lines heightens the prominence of the catwalk line or shoulder line. Contributing to its sporty and commanding aesthetic are the generous track width and the seamlessly integrated 18- and 19-inch wheels, boasting contemporary designs that perfectly align with the vehicle’s essence.
The distinctive front of the C-Class is characterized by the brand’s iconic radiator grille, a unifying feature across all models. A central star takes center stage, with nuanced variations in the design and character of the grille. In the standard exterior, decorative elements grace the louvers, while chrome surrounds adorn the radiator grille and front bumper. The AMG Line, on the other hand, boasts a distinctive diamond grille, featuring the star design in chrome for a bold and impactful statement.
Moving to the rear, the impeccably designed tail lamps captivate with a distinctive day and night appearance. A notable departure for the C-Class is the two-piece design of the tail lamps, with light functions artfully distributed between the side wall and trunk lid. Completing the rearview, optional or line-specific trim in the bumper adds an attractive finishing touch. The color palette is enriched with new hues, including Starling Blue, Cirrus Silver, Moonlight White, Graphite Grey, and Selenite Grey Magno, offering a spectrum of choices to suit individual preferences.
Interior design: sporty touches thanks to the driver-centered design
The dashboard of the new C-Class unfolds as a captivating interplay between an upper wing-like section and a lower opulent trim, reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles. The wing section introduces flattened round vents, exuding a distinct aeronautical vibe, while the luxurious trim seamlessly extends from the center console to the dashboard, creating an unbroken visual expanse. Emphasizing a driver-centric ethos, both the dashboard and central display are subtly tilted six degrees towards the driver, fostering a sporty and immersive experience.
In the driver’s domain, a standard 12.3-inch high-resolution display takes center stage, departing from conventional cockpits with its modern, digital interface, eschewing classic round dials. The shift to digitalization is evident in the central display as well, where high-quality touchscreen controls seamlessly integrate vehicle functions. The portrait orientation proves advantageous for navigation, and the screen seemingly hovers above the expansive trim, mirroring the driver-centric tilt. Standard at 11.9 inches, the central display epitomizes technological sophistication.
Surrounded by lustrous jet-black trim, the central display smoothly extends to the center console, where a refined chrome insert elegantly divides it from the rear, padded section of the armrest. Door panels, framed with a modern, minimalist design, complete the visual spectrum. The door center panel, transitioning from a vertical to a horizontal orientation, echoes the center console’s metallic high-tech element. A floating control cluster integrates door opener and seat adjustment controls, exemplifying both form and function.
The new C-Class’s seat design employs layers and enveloping surfaces, creating a visual impression of lightness. A novel head restraint design, seamlessly attached to the backrest, adds a touch of modernity. For those opting for the AMG Line, a dashboard covered with MB-Tex and featuring luxurious beltlines awaits. The range of trim options showcases innovative surfaces, including natural grain veneers in brown tones and a black, natural grain wood veneer with fine aluminum inlays, following the dashboard’s contours.
The driver display and media display offer a holistic and aesthetic experience. Customization options abound with three display styles (Sporty, Classic, and Understated) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service). For example, the “Sporty” style dominates with a red color scheme and a dynamic central rev counter. Standard 64-color ambient lighting enhances the overall ambiance, with an enhanced version available as an optional upgrade.
The latest generation of MBUX: intuitively operated and intelligent
Following in the footsteps of the new S-Class, the latest C-Class comes equipped with the second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), marking a significant leap in digital and intelligent vehicle interiors. Both hardware and software have undergone substantial enhancements, delivering a seamless and user-friendly experience. The high-definition displays showcase brilliant images, facilitating effortless control over vehicle and comfort functions.
The driver display and media display collaborate to offer a comprehensive and aesthetically pleasing interaction. Information is presented in a well-organized manner, adopting a new display aesthetic developed for the S-Class and now systematically integrated into other models.
Customization takes center stage, with three display styles (Sporty, Classic, and Understated) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service) available to cater to individual preferences. In the “Classic” style, a familiar display environment welcomes the driver, featuring a proven display with two tubes and dynamic content changes between them. “Sporty” mode embraces a vibrant red color scheme, enhancing the central rev counter with a dynamic design. On the other hand, the “Understated” style streamlines content to the essentials, offering a minimalist yet sophisticated experience. The screens can further be displayed in seven color schemes, complementing the ambient lighting for an immersive and visually stunning interior.
The “Assistance Mode” provides real-time insights into the traffic situation, supplementing essential information. Borrowed from the S-Class, the full-screen navigation takes center stage, ensuring the driver receives optimal guidance throughout their journey. The incorporation of these features elevates the C-Class’s digital interface, making it a showcase of cutting-edge technology and user-centric design.
Hey Mercedes: the increasingly sharp voice assistant
The “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant leaps forward in interactivity and learning capabilities, especially when online services are activated through the Mercedes Me App. Beyond its traditional activation with the keyword “Hey Mercedes,” certain actions, such as answering a telephone call, can now be performed seamlessly without the need for the activation keyword. This enhancement streamlines the user experience, adding convenience to everyday interactions.
“Hey Mercedes” evolves into an informative guide, explaining various vehicle functions. It becomes a helpful companion, offering assistance with tasks like connecting a smartphone via Bluetooth or locating the first-aid kit. The voice assistant is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, catering to a wide range of user inquiries.
A noteworthy feature is the voice assistant’s ability to recognize the voices of vehicle occupants, enabling a more personalized experience. For the driver, this means the convenience of loading their unique personal profile using voice control, making the driving experience tailored to individual preferences and settings.
This evolution in voice interaction showcases a commitment to enhancing user convenience and creating a more intelligent, personalized, and user-friendly driving environment within the Mercedes-Benz ecosystem.
Music streaming: millions of songs to choose from
The introduction of the “Online Music” service by Mercedes-Benz marks a significant integration of music streaming services into the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. This innovative feature enables seamless access to the personal user profiles of select linked music providers, providing a comprehensive music experience within the vehicle.
Through MBUX, users can effortlessly tap into their favorite songs and playlists, enjoying a personalized and familiar atmosphere on the road. Furthermore, the integration allows users to explore a vast library of millions of songs and curated playlists, expanding their musical horizons.
The operation is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, offering multiple options for control. Whether through the MBUX voice assistant “Hey Mercedes,” the Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel, or directly interacting with the touchscreen display, users have versatile ways to manage their music experience. This integration not only enhances the in-car entertainment options but also aligns with the broader trend of integrating digital services seamlessly into the driving experience.
Other highlights in connection with MBUX
The optional Augmented Video for Navigation feature brings a new dimension to the driving experience. Utilizing a front-facing camera, this technology captures the surroundings ahead of the vehicle, projecting live images onto the central display. What sets this feature apart is the overlay of virtual objects, information, and markers on the video image. Drivers can benefit from augmented elements such as traffic signs, directional arrows, lane-change recommendations, and even house numbers. Particularly advantageous in urban settings, this enhances navigation by providing real-time, context-aware information.
For those who prefer a heads-up display, an optional Color Head-Up Display is available. This presents a virtual image measuring 9 x 3 inches, seemingly floating above the hood at a distance of about 15 feet (4.5 meters). This technology ensures that crucial information, such as navigation directions and vehicle speed, is conveniently within the driver’s line of sight.
Adding to the convenience and security features, a fingerprint scanner is strategically positioned below the central display. This enables users to swiftly, conveniently, and securely log into the MBUX system. This authentication process safeguards personal settings, including favorites, recent destinations, behavior-based predictions, business calendar entries, and emails. Furthermore, authenticated users are granted access to payment processes via Mercedes Me, adding an extra layer of security to these transactions. The integration of these advanced features reflects the commitment to enhancing user experience, security, and convenience within the Mercedes-Benz driving environment.
“Over-the-air” (OTA) updates: The software is always kept up-to-date
Mercedes-Benz simplifies software updates for users. Notifications appear on the MBUX screen and Mercedes Me app, prompting users to accept and download updates seamlessly in the background or at a scheduled time. Over-the-air (OTA) technology ensures vehicles receive the latest features, keeping them always up to date without the need for manual intervention or dealership visits.
Powertrain: systematic electrification of the modern four-cylinder engine
The new C-Class establishes new benchmarks in efficiency through systematic electrification and intelligent downsizing. Embracing a streamlined approach, the engine lineup exclusively features four-cylinder units from the modular FAME (Family of Modular Engines) Mercedes-Benz engine family. This strategic choice not only contributes to the international production network’s flexibility but also underscores a commitment to needs-based electrification.
Enhancing the gasoline engine, the incorporation of an integrated starter-generator (ISG) as a mild hybrid brings intelligent assistance at low engine speeds. Operating on a 48-volt onboard electrical system, the ISG facilitates functions such as gliding, boosting, and energy recovery, leading to substantial fuel savings. The engine’s rapid and smooth start, coupled with imperceptible transitions from gliding with the engine off to robust acceleration under engine power, ensures a seamless driving experience. The intelligent interplay between the ISG and the combustion engine also guarantees outstandingly smooth running when idling, exemplifying the fusion of performance and efficiency in the new C-Class.
Four-cylinder gasoline engine with an ISG
The premiere of the four-cylinder M 254 gasoline engine in the C-Class brings innovation to the forefront, featuring an integrated starter-generator that provides an extra 20 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. This engine showcases high efficiency through energy recovery and the ability to “glide” with the engine off. A notable achievement is the amalgamation of groundbreaking technologies from the modular engine family, including NANOSLIDE® cylinder coating, CONICSHAPE® cylinder honing, and a directly positioned exhaust after-treatment system.
Introducing a cutting-edge element is the segment charger with flow connection, an evolution of twin-scroll technology that enhances the responsiveness of the forced induction system. The segment turbocharger, developed in collaboration with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team, is a groundbreaking addition that sets new standards for power and efficiency in series production. This technology allows the C 300 to temporarily boost its output by up to 20 hp, showcasing the dynamic and high-performance capabilities of the M 254 engine in the new C-Class.
Automatic transmission standard
The 9G-TRONIC transmission, present in all C-Class models, has undergone significant development to seamlessly integrate with the Integrated Starter-Generator (ISG). Notably, the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission cooler are now housed within or close to the transmission unit. This redesign eliminates previously required lines, offering advantages in terms of installation space and weight. Additionally, the transmission’s efficiency has been enhanced. The optimized coordination with the electric auxiliary oil pump, which reduces the mechanical pump’s delivery rate by 30 percent, contributes to improved efficiency.
The transmission now incorporates a new generation of fully integrated transmission control, featuring a multi-core processor and updated design and connectivity technology. Alongside the increased computing power, this new control unit significantly reduces the number of electric interfaces and achieves a 30 percent weight reduction compared to its predecessor.
The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system in the C-Class has undergone advancements, particularly in the new front-axle drive. This modification allows for the transfer of higher torque levels while ensuring an ideal axle load distribution for enhanced driving dynamics. Additionally, it offers a notable weight advantage compared to the corresponding component in the previous series, contributing to CO2 reduction. Further improvements include a reduction in friction losses in the new transfer case, which now features a closed oil circuit and eliminates the need for additional cooling measures. These advancements collectively enhance the performance, efficiency, and overall driving experience of the C-Class models equipped with the 9G-TRONIC transmission and 4MATIC drive system.
Suspension system: comfort and agility
The standard configuration for the new C-Class includes an AGILITY CONTROL suspension featuring continuously adjustable damping. This dynamically designed suspension system incorporates a four-link axle at the front and a multi-link axle at the rear, both mounted to a subframe. This setup forms the foundation for an elevated level of suspension comfort, ride quality, and noise reduction, coupled with agile handling and an enjoyable driving experience.
For those opting for the AMG Line, the new C-Class comes equipped with a sports suspension, adding a performance-oriented dimension to the driving dynamics. This optional feature further enhances the car’s sporty characteristics, appealing to drivers seeking a more spirited and dynamic driving experience.
Driver assistance systems: stress-relief and support in hazardous situations
The latest generation of the Driver Assistance Package in the new C-Class series introduces additional and advanced functions, surpassing the capabilities of its predecessor. These enhancements aim to alleviate driver workload during everyday scenarios, fostering a more comfortable and secure driving experience. In critical situations where danger looms, the assistance systems are designed to respond proactively to impending collisions.
To communicate the operating principles of these advanced systems, a new display concept is employed, visualizing the functionality of the driver display. This not only keeps the driver informed about the assistance systems’ actions but also contributes to an intuitive and user-friendly experience, ensuring that the driver remains well-informed and confident behind the wheel.
Advancement of the assistance systems
Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, available on various road types including highways, country roads, and in urban settings, offers automatic maintenance of a preset distance from vehicles in front. A notable enhancement includes the system’s ability to respond to stationary vehicles on the road, now effective at speeds up to approximately 62 mph, a notable improvement from the previous limit of 37 mph.
Active Steering Assist is designed to aid the driver in staying within their lane, applicable at speeds up to 130 mph. The latest features include expanded lane recognition capabilities, utilizing the 360° camera for additional precision. The system’s performance on country roads has been significantly improved, particularly in bends, and its lane centering on highways has been refined for an enhanced driving experience. These advancements collectively contribute to increased safety and comfort, supporting the driver across a range of driving scenarios.
Intelligent parking systems support the driver when maneuvering
Thanks to improved surround sensors, the parking systems give the driver even better support when maneuvering at low speeds. Operation is faster and more intuitive thanks to integration into MBUX. Emergency braking functions also serve to protect other road users.
Crash safety: fit for all global requirements
The global reach of the C-Class is underscored by its availability in over 100 countries, resulting in an exhaustive development process that evaluates around 1,000 load-stage variants. This comprehensive approach ensures that all engine and body configurations, spanning right and left-hand drive, hybrids, and 4-MATIC models, adhere to the same stringent safety standards.
In addition to the well-established PRE-SAFE® protection measures for frontal and rear collisions, the introduction of PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side (available with the Driver Assistance Package) creates a virtual crumple zone encompassing the entire vehicle. Recognizing the limited crumple zone in side impacts, PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side proactively repositions the affected driver or front passenger away from the imminent danger zone before a side collision occurs. This is achieved by rapidly inflating air chambers in the side bolsters of the front seat backrest, providing an additional layer of protection.
The overall safety concept of the C-Class revolves around an intelligently designed body shell featuring a robust passenger cell and crash structures designed for controlled deformation. These elements work in tandem with seat belts and airbag systems. In the event of an accident, systems such as belt tensioners and airbags activate dynamically to protect the occupants based on the specific circumstances. Rigorous numerical simulations were employed to configure the vehicle structure, ensuring excellent occupant protection. The safety measures not only meet legal requirements but also undergo internal testing and incorporate criteria derived from real-life accident scenarios, reinforcing the commitment to providing a high level of safety in diverse driving conditions globally.
Dimensional concept and practical features: more space in the front and rear
With a length of 187 inches and a width of 71.7 inches, the Sedan is considerably larger than its predecessors. The wheelbase has increased by 1 inch to 112.8 inches. Both the front and rear passengers benefit from the increased exterior dimensions. The good drag coefficient of the preceding model (Sedan: Cd 0.24) has been preserved despite the larger exterior dimensions.
A success story: bestseller for many years
Over the last decade, the C-Class has stood as the highest-volume model in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. Since the introduction of the current generation in 2014, over 2.5 million Sedan and Wagon models have been sold globally. Notably, China has been the largest sales market for the C-Class Sedan since 2016, with significant sales also in the USA, Germany, and Great Britain. In 2020 alone, the C-Class Sedan and Wagon reached customers in more than 100 markets worldwide.
The C-Class success story traces back to 1982 with the launch of the Mercedes-Benz 190, often affectionately referred to as the ‘Baby Benz.’ The model range showcased not only combustion engines but also alternative powertrains, exemplified by the 190 E Elektro, an electric experimental car presented in 1990. The first car officially designated as the C-Class arrived in May 1993, and since then, over 10.5 million Mercedes-Benz cars in this category have been delivered to customers.
For many, the C-Class serves as an entry into the premium car segment, especially in markets like China and South Korea, where approximately 50 percent of C-Class Sedan buyers make it their first premium brand vehicle. The C-Class Sedan also appeals to a substantial proportion of female customers, particularly in the USA and South Korea, where nearly half of the C-Class Sedans are purchased by women.
Mercedes-Benz continued to innovate in terms of engineering and body shapes. The introduction of the Wagon model in 1996 marked the company’s first sporty, mid-size wagon, and the 2000 C-Class model series featured the Sports Coupe, a novel body variant. The launch of the fourth C-Class generation in 2007 brought a new design feature, allowing the front-end design to vary based on the design and equipment line, with the Luxury line featuring the traditional hood emblem and the Sport line placing the three-pointed star in the center of the radiator grille. This rich history showcases the enduring popularity and adaptability of the C-Class in the automotive landscape.
Production: in a global network with digital cutting-edge technologies
The new C-Class will undergo production in several Mercedes-Benz car plants worldwide, including Bremen (Germany), Beijing (China), and East London (South Africa). Bremen, the largest private employer in the region with over 12,000 employees, serves as the lead plant for the international C-Class production network, leveraging digital training to seamlessly integrate the new model into ongoing global production. Digital support facilitates collaborative efforts among employees across the production network, ensuring a smooth production start-up at all plants.
Mercedes-Benz Cars’ global production network is characterized by maximum flexibility, allowing the integration of new technologies and positioning the company well in times of changing parameters. The Bremen plant exemplifies smart production through digital shop floor management, enabling real-time monitoring of production data. The QUALITY LIVE system, part of the MO360 digital production ecosystem, allows employees to assess the quality of each vehicle in real-time through a user-friendly interface.
Notably, Mercedes-Benz aims to achieve carbon-neutral production across all Cars and Vans plants from 2022 onward. Many Mercedes-Benz plants, including Bremen, already derive their electrical power from renewable energy sources, aligning with the company’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
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