The new generation 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been revealed ahead of an Australian arrival in the fourth quarter of this year.
Revealed in sedan and wagon body styles, the new C-Class brings updated powertrains, the latest version of the MBUX infotainment system, and more interior space.
Dimensionally, in sedan guise, the C-Class measures 4751mm long, 1438mm tall, and 1820mm wide. For context, it’s 65mm longer, 10mm wider and 9mm lower than the outgoing car.
The wagon version is 49mm longer and 7mm lower. Both models ride on a 2865mm wheelbase, 25mm longer than the outgoing model.
Further changes include a 19mm wider front track while the rear track has grown by 48mm.
At launch, every C-Class will be powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged engine augmented by a 48V mild-hybrid system. The entry-level C180 and C200 models use a 1.5-litre petrol engine developing 125kW/250Nm and 150kW/300Nm, respectively.
The C300 gets a larger 2.0-litre unit producing 190kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
Depending on the model, with the EQ Boost mild-hybrid tech, under acceleration, the system can provide an additional 15kW and 195/200Nm.
European markets also get the C220d and C300d turbo-diesel models, however, these are unlikely to be offered here.
Every engine is matched to a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.
There will also be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version that can deliver 100km of electric range (WLTP cycle).
The C-Class PHEV uses a 25.4kWh battery and an electric motor with 95kW of power and 440Nm of torque. Mercedes says the battery can be charged at up to 11kW with an AC charger and 55kW with a DC charger.
On the inside, the C-Class gets the updated MBUX infotainment system that debuted in the new S-Class. The central touchscreen is now vertically-oriented measuring 11.9- to 12.3 inches depending on the grade. The system houses the car’s menus, climate controls and media functions. The larger unit gets a higher resolution and haptic feedback. The system also features over-the-air software updates.
There’s also the MBUX Smart Home function that accesses WLAN, sensors and actuators to make the home increasingly intelligent and communicative: temperature and lights, shutters and electrical appliances can be remotely monitored and controlled. Motion detectors and window contacts can also inform the user of welcome or unwelcome visitors.
Bosch Smart Home and Samsung SmartThings work with the system. Remarkably, owners can ask "Hey Mercedes, is there anybody in my home right now?” and get a response such as "I checked. The last movement detected was in the kitchen one hour ago."
Aside from the updated tech, the larger body translates to an additional 21mm of rear legroom, 15mm of rear elbow room, and 13mm of shoulder room. For those in the front seats, elbow room has increased by 22mm and shoulder room by 26mm.
Following the launch of the sedan and wagon, a coupe and cabriolet will join the range along with the AMG performance models. Hardcore fans will no doubt lament the loss of V6 and V8 engines. It’s a sign of the times.
The new C-Class will reach Australia in the fourth quarter of 2021, local specifications and pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.
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