Promises of lighter, smarter and stronger.
MERCEDES-BENZ has revealed its all-new C-Class sedan, which will be produced at the East London plant from next year.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s media specialist Lynette Skriker said parent company Daimler AG had released pictures and details on the new vehicle.
“Excitement is building in advance of the launch of the new generation C-Class internationally next year,” she said.
“The Daimler AG press announcement on December 16 gave a sneak preview of the new vehicle. MBSA’s East London plant will be one of four plants worldwide to build the new model.”
Daimler AG last year announced a R2.5-billion investment for the East London plant to prepare for the W205 production. About 600 jobs have been created.
The C-Class is the biggest-selling model series worldwide for Mercedes-Benz and sales of the previous model, which was launched in 2007, totalled more than 2.4 million.
The new model range will initially comprise the C180, the C200 and the C220 BlueTEC.
The company said it would expand the range of engines following the launch although it’s not clear at this stage which models will be made available in South Africa or what the prices will be.
Filled with new technology the new model promises to be bigger and lighter than its predecessor. Executive vice-president of sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars Ola Källenius said the vehicle embodied the company’s claim of “the best or nothing”.
“This is immediately apparent when encountering our new saloon for the first time, as it creates the impression that one is sitting in a higher class of automobile,” Källenius said.
“I am sure that our customers will be delighted by the high-class appeal and agility of the new C-Class.”
Thanks to innovative lightweight construction, the aluminium hybrid body is 100kg lighter than that of the previous model.
This not only reduces fuel consumption by up to 20%, but also allows for sportier and more agile handling.
The new sedan has grown in size thanks to an 80mm increase in the wheelbase (2 840mm) while it is 95mm longer (4 686mm) and 40mm wider (1 810mm).
Boot capacity has been increased to 480 litres.
Mercedes-Benz aims to make the highest levels of safety available to everyone and the new C-Class incorporates almost all of the new safety assistance systems found in the more expensive S-Class and E-Class models.
This includes an alert to warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness; autonomous braking at speeds of up to 200km/h; a system which prevents the vehicle from unintentionally drifting out of a lane; and one which warns of speed limits and alerts the driver to no-overtaking zones and no-entry signs.