Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate
Just a few months following the market debut of the saloon, Mercedes-Benz is now unveiled the estate version of the new C-Class. The estate takes the trademark strengths of the saloon, such as safety, agility and comfort, and combines them with a significant increase in spaciousness and versatility. Quite apart from being able to hold a maximum of 1500 litres, giving it a larger load capacity than any other premium-class estate in this market segment, the new C-Class Estate also offers a host of handy features for easy loading and safe transportation --a tailgate which opens and closes automatically at the push of a button, for example. Compared to the outgoing model, the new Mercedes estate burns as much as twelve per cent less fuel. With an official NEDC consumption of 6.0 litres/100 km, the new C 200 CDI can make a single tank of fuel (66 litres) last for over 1000 kilometres. Just like the saloon, the estate version of the new C-Class has also been awarded an Environmental Certificate, which attests to the environmentally oriented development process as conforming with the international ISO standard. In terms of safety, the new estate blazes a trail with innovations of the likes of PRE-SAFE and the Intelligent Light System, and distinguishes itself as the safest car in this vehicle class. Seven airbags, belt tensioners and belt force limiters, as well as crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints all make up part of the standard specification.
The new estate adopts the C-Class Saloon's customer-focused concept for the design and equipment lines. There is a choice of three models - CLASSIC, ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE - which highlight the vehicle's comfort or agility to differing degrees. The AVANTGARDE line features a large Mercedes star positioned in the centre of the radiator grille that emphasises its sporty, agile nature. This traditional distinctive mark of sporty models from Mercedes is now being employed in an estate model for the first time by the Stuttgart-based automotive brand. In the ELEGANCE model, a three-dimensional, louvred radiator grille with a high-gloss paint finish accentuates other brand-typical attributes such as comfort and luxury. The CLASSIC model, meanwhile, is deliberately more
restrained and traditional.
Environmental considerations played a key role in the development of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from the very start. This is corroborated by the Environmental Certificate that was awarded by the TV Technical Inspection Authority in Germany. Mercedes-Benz is the only automotive brand in the world to have obtained a certificate under the terms of ISO standard 14062 for environmentally acceptable product development.
With brand new or redeveloped engines under the bonnet offering greater power and torque, the C-Class Estate consumes up to twelve per cent less fuel than previously. The four-cylinder power units were the focus of the development work: in the case of the C 180 KOMPRESSOR and C 200 KOMPRESSOR petrol models Mercedes-Benz modified the engine management and fitted a more
dynamic supercharger and improved pistons to boost output by 10 kW/13 hp and 15 kW/20 hp respectively. At the same time, the fuel consumption figures for the two models could be cut by as much as 10.3 per cent to 7.7 and 7.8 litres/100 kilometres.
Mercedes-Benz also gave the four-cylinder diesel engines a thorough overhaul too, making improvements not only to the injection system, the turbocharger and the intercooler but to more than 90 other components too. The upshot is engines delivering more power and higher torque, combined with fuel consumption that is around twelve per cent lower. The new C 220 CDI now has an output of 125 kW/170 hp (previously: 110 kW/150 hp) and musters up 400 Newton metres of peak torque (previously: 340 Newton metres) from 2000 rpm. Fuel consumption on the NEDC driving cycle comes in at just 6.1 litres for every 100 kilometres (previously: 6.9 l/100 km).
In the new C 200 CDI, power has been upped by eleven per cent (100 kW/136 hp instead of 90 kW/122 hp before) and fuel consumption is 6.0 litres/100 kilometres (previously 6.8 l/100 km).As for the six-cylinder engine range, there is a choice of three petrol units developing 150 kW/204 hp, 170 kW/231 hp and 200 kW/272 hp, as well as the new C 320 CDI with an output of 165 kW/224 hp. With the exception of the C 350, all engine variants are coupled to a six-speed manual transmission. The C 350 is partnered by the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission.
The unique blend of agility and comfort that forms one of the exceptional strengths of the new C-Class is basically down to the standard-fit AGILITY CONTROL package. This features shock absorbers which automatically adapt to the current driving situation for a noticeable improvement in ride comfort when driving normally. As soon as a more dynamic driving style is adopted, on the other hand, the maximum damping forces are set to stabilise the estate effectively .
The dynamic handling package that is available as an option bestows the new C-Class Estate with a degree of agility worthy of out-and-out sports cars. The driver is able to choose from two drive modes which determine the fundamental suspension characteristic: Comfort and Sport. Within these modes, the shock absorbers at each wheel are regulated by means of an infinitely variable electronic control. What's more, the body is lowered by 15 millimetres and the suspension equipped with shorter springs and thicker torsion bars. The dynamic handling package also encompasses the new speed-sensitive power steering with a more direct ratio and variable centring.
The body index devised by engineers at Mercedes clearly illustrates just how agilely the new C-Class Estate performs out on the road. This index is calculated from the readings for various driving manoeuvres, thereby forming a new composite formula for a vehicle's dynamic handling abilities. The larger the body index, the better the suspension is linked to the body and the firmer the suspension's tuning. The standard AGILITY CONTROL suspension gives the C-Class a body index of 1.91 to 2.01 hertz, while the new model attains sports-car-like values of up to 2.46 hertz with the dynamic handling package fitted.
Kitting out the new estate with the AMG sports package adds a sports suspension with shorter springs and firmer shock absorbers to the specification, along with 17-inch light-alloy wheels. The body is also dropped by 15 millimetres.
Source: Mercedes-Benz press