The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a compact sport sedan and has been running with the German brand since 1993, and is a predecessor of the Mercedes 190 (W201) sedan range. Up until 2013, it used to be the smallest sedan Mercedes, until the brand launched the entry-level CLA. The C-Class currently rivals against models such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Volvo S60, and Lexus IS and ES.
The C-Class is built at the Mercedes-Benz factories in Sindelfingen and Bremen, Germany as well as a number of satellite factories in other countries. The first C-Class (W202) sedan was produced on June 1, 1993 and the first second generation (W202) was unveiled on 18 July 2000. The C-Class has been available with a 4MATIC option since 2002. Its fourth generation was launched in 2015, while is latest generation came out in 2020.
In October 1986, three years into Mercedes-Benz 190â€™s production course, work began on a successor. Design began in 1987, by 1989 a design by Murat GÃ¼nak was finalized and production design by Olivier Boulay delayed in January 1990 was finally patented on 19 December 1990. Some prototypes were tested in 1989, and the first production design prototypes commenced trial in 1990. In May 1993, the first generation W202 C-Class was introduced to replace the 190. Styling themes were carried over from the previous W201 series, but the new one had a smoother and rounder design, taking styling inspiration from the W124 E-Class, W140 S-Class and R129 SL-Class. During the 1966 and 1997 Formula 1 season, the C63 AMG served as a Safety Car.
The C280 had a 2.8-litre inline six-cylinder engine with 194 horsepower, whereas the C220 used an inline 2.2-litre, four-cylinder engine to make 147 horsepower. A four-speed automatic transmission was the original spec. The AMG C63 performance was introduced later and it used a 3.6-litre, six-cylinder engine which capacitated 276-horsepower.
The Mercedes-Benz W206 is the fifth generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, produced by Daimler. It replaces the W 205 which has been built since 2014. Resembling the S-Class, the W206 is based on a platform called Modular Rear Architecture or MRA for short, equipped with a rear-wheel drive transmission. All models are come with four-cylinder engines that have an integrated starter generator (15 kW electric motor) and a 48-volt electrical system. The wheelbase is 2865mm while the external length is 4.75mm. Daimler does not offer the W 206 with halogen headlamps. The use of aluminium with a framework of high-strength steel lessens the carâ€™s overall weight by over 200 pounds.
The W 206 has independent front and rear suspension. The front axle is a four-link axle, the rear axle is a multi-link axle. Rear axle steering with a steering angle of 2.5 degrees is available as a factory option; the turning circle is reduced by 0.4m to 10.6m with the rear axle steering option. The interior styling is same as the S-Class. The C-Class also has a central LCD display with a screen size of either 9 in or 11.9 in.
The smallest available petrol engine is the 1.5 litre M264 engine offered in the C180 model giving a maximum power of 168hp, and the C200 model with an output of 201hp. There are Sport and Luxury trims, with engines including the C300â€™s 255hp 2.0-litre M254 petrol turbocharged inline four-cylinder or the C400â€™s 3.0-litre turbo V6 that makes 329 horsepower. AWD is standard on the V6 and optional on the four-cylinder. t is equipped with an over boost function that allows it to produce an additional 26 kW for up to 30 seconds. Mercedes-Benz initially offers two Diesel models, the C220d, and the C300d. Both models are powered by the same 1992 cm3 OM654 engine, rated 197 hp for the C220d, and 261 hp in the C300d.
An AMG C63 S coupe and sedan was introduced later and was packed with a 502 horsepower, 4.0-litre turbo V8. For customer requiring efficiency was the C350e, a plug-in hybrid model which gets combined horsepower of 275 from a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder and an electric motor. The sportier AMG C43 model also introduced and contained a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 which made 362 horsepower. Three body styles were available: cabriolet, coupe and sedan. The cabriolet has a roof that opens or shuts in under 20 seconds.
In July 2021 the C200d was introduced with a detuned version of the above engine, now producing 161 hp and 380Nm of torque. Mercedes-Benz has also announced that they will be offering a plug-in hybrid model with a petrol engine, the C300e as well as a plug-in hybrid model with a diesel engine, the C300de. The "4MATIC" all-wheel drive system will be offered as a factory option on both the C300e and the C300de. The plug-in hybrid models are supposed to have an all-electric range of around 100 kilometres.
The evolution of the C class seems to have come a full circle, as it looks like a 'baby' S-Class today. Thankfully, the evolution is not as drastic as the one Mercedes undertook for the A class. We reckon the new C Class will give all the other luxury marquees a run for their money, if launched at a viable price-point in India.
Comment below if you are keen to buy this C Class when it launches in India.