UPDATE: 44 additional pics added to high-resolution gallery

Click on the image of the 2008 C-Class for a gallery of high-res images

Today in Stuttgart, Mercedes-Benz officially unveiled the all new 2008 C-Class that will go on sale later this summer. As usual, the car is larger in all dimensions than the previous model. This should at least help out with the perennially tight rear seat. The new C-Class will be available state-side in two trim levels, Luxury and Sport, with both models sharing what is called Agility Control Steering, Agility Control Suspension and Agility Control Gearshift. The first two translate as variable effort steering and variable rate damping. There isn't much detail on the shifting other than it being faster. The adaptive braking is based on the system in the new S-Class, and includes hill assist and panic brake assist. The hill assist detects when you are starting on a slope and maintains some brake pressure in the calipers when you move your foot to the accelerator until you actually apply the gas, to keep you from rolling back down the hill. The panic brake assist has been around for awhile and detects when you do a quick brake apply and helps to apply full pressure.

Follow the jump for more info and the official press release from Mercedes-Benz, and click here to view our full high-resolution gallery of images showing the 2008 C-Class.

Related GalleryMercedes-Benz C-Class

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]


The interior includes a pop-up center display screen at the top of the dash as well as a display in the middle of the instrument cluster. The multitude of features can be activated from multi-function controls on the steering wheel, as well as a controller on the console, similar to the dreaded I-Drive. The navigation and entertainment system includes a 30GB hard drive which holds Europe wide maps (presumably the US models will come with North American maps, I hope!) The COMAND APS system also includes a music server with 4 GB of memory, a DVD player and a voice control system that can understand city names without spelling them out.

The styling is reminiscent of a 5/8 scale version of the new S-Class, but with slightly more subdued fender flares. It does retain the crisp character lines of it's big brother and pronounced wedge at the nose. Overall the look translates well to the smaller car. The newer V-6 engines will be carried over from the current model along with three revamped gas engines and one new diesel. So far there is no word on which engines are coming the US market, but most likely it will only be the V-6s.


PRESS RELEASE:

World premiere of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Unique combination of safety, comfort and agility
  • Three individual models of the sedan coming to European dealers at the end of March 2007
Stuttgart, Jan 18, 2007
Deliveries of more than two million units make the predecessor model the best-selling C-Class ever

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is celebrating its world premiere today at the Mercedes-Benz World in Stuttgart. The new C-Class sedan offers outstanding safety, comfort and agility, and stands out through a product concept that emphasizes variety to meet the most diverse customer requirements. In addition, the three individual models have a visibly different appearance from one another. "Through innovative high-performance technologies we aim to raise the bar even higher when it comes to safety, comfort and agility in the segment of compact premium automobiles," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management DaimlerChrysler AG and head of the Mercedes Car Group. "The new C-Class will thus set new standards when it comes to providing the most sophisticated driving experience in its segment."

Individual design of the new C-Class underscores its agility and comfort

The distinctive design of the new C-Class, which will arrive at dealerships in Europe at the end of March and in the U.S. just a few weeks later, is based on the modern Mercedes-Benz idiom. For the first time in a Mercedes sedan, the model variants differ from one another through different front views. The AVANTGARDE model with its centrally positioned Mercedes star is an extremely agile C-Class in a sporty design. For customers who rather prefer a comfortable and elegant ride, Mercedes-Benz offers a truly classic model in the CLASSIC and ELEGANCE lines with the traditional Mercedes radiator grille. "With this design variety, the new C-Class can be tailored even more specifically to what typically are very heterogenous customer demands in this segment. Depending on the line, the new C-Class sets an individual tone in terms of comfort or agility," says Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Mercedes Car Group, responsible for Sales and Marketing.

Newest technology ensures maximum driving pleasure and safety

Technical innovations in the new C-Class include the AGILITY CONTROL system, which adjusts shock absorbers in line with the driving situation and provides for even more direct steering. The model is also equipped with the ADAPTIVE BRAKE system – yet another innovation in chassis technology that offers additional assistance features. The highest levels of safety are ensured by seven airbags, seatbelt tensioners and belt force limiters, all of which come as standard equipment. Also standard are the NECK PRO headrests, which support and protect the heads of the driver and the front passenger within fractions of a second if the vehicle is hit from the rear. In addition, Mercedes-Benz is offering blinking brake lights that help prevent rear-end collisions as standard equipment in the new C-Class. The model is also the first in its segment to be equipped with the innovative Intelligent Light System that features five different headlight settings, and the PRE-SAFE® occupant protection system, which automatically activates measures that protect the driver and the front passenger if an accident is imminent.

New gasoline and diesel engines provide for even better performance and sophisticated driving experience

A total of four modified engines, three gasoline engines and one diesel, are available for the new C-Class. With an impressive increase in performance of up to 13 percent, these engines also make a powerful contribution to the dynamic character of the vehicle. Mercedes-Benz engineers paid particular attention to refining the four-cylinder engines, whose output and fuel economy have been significantly improved. The C 220 CDI, for example, now consumes up to 0.3 liters less fuel per 100 kilometers. The advanced V6 engines in the C-Class program remain unchanged.

The C-Class: A best-seller in the Mercedes-Benz product lineup

C-Class models have been among the most popular vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio ever since the launch of the 190 Series – the so-called Baby Benz – 25 years ago. With the latest model changeover, the fourth generation of the C-Class will now continue the success story of its predecessor, the 203 Series. More than two million sedans, station wagons and sport coupes have been sold of this model since its market launch in March 2000. This makes the 203 Series the best-selling C-Class model ever. Germany is the most important market for the C-Class, accounting for approximately 30 percent of worldwide sales. The new C-Class will be built at the Sindelfingen and Bremen plants in Germany and at the East London plant in South Africa.


The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Superior Safety, Comfort And Agility

(DaimlerChrysler Release)

Stuttgart, January 18, 2007 -- Safety, comfort, agility: these are the outstanding attributes of the new C-Class. In late summer 2007, Mercedes-Benz will continue its successful strategy and offer two C-Class models in the U.S, a Luxury Sedan and a Sport Sedan. All model variants share the latest, state-of-the-art technology.

The new C-Class is larger in virtually every dimension over its predecessor. Interior space has increased in the areas of rear legroom, front and rear hip room as well as front and rear shoulder room.

The design of the new C-Class is based on the modern Mercedes idiom, which reflects the technical superiority of automobiles bearing the star with taut lines and large, tranquil surfaces. The pronounced wedge-shape of the front end serves to emphasise attributes such as agility and performance. For the first time in a Mercedes sedan, the radiator grille is used as a distinguishing feature to position the model variants more clearly. Three extended, horizontal louvres and a big centrally positioned Mercedes star characterize the Sport Sedan as a traditional design feature of sporty Mercedes models. Together with the sporty, high-quality appointments, this feature emphasizes the youthful, agile appearance of this C-Class.

In the Luxury Sedan, Mercedes-Benz employs a three-dimensional, louvred radiator grille with a high-gloss paint finish to accentuate other brand-typical attributes such as comfort and luxury.

The two choices for the C-Class allows Mercedes customers to accentuate individual choices, and configure a C-Class to suit their personal taste and lifestyle even more emphatically than before. All the models offer the same extraordinary driving experience that the sedan provides by virtue of further technical improvements. Both by its outstanding long-distance comfort and its dynamic handling, the C-Class sets new standards in this market segment.

Shock Absorbers Automatically Adapt to the Driving Situation

AGILITY CONTROL – this is the term used by Mercedes-Benz for all new and further developments that improve both comfort and agility in equal measure. This standard package includes the AGILITY CONTROL suspension, which controls the shock absorber forces according to the driving situation: when driving normally with low shock absorber impulses, the damping forces are automatically reduced for a noticeable improvement in ride comfort – but without any compromise in handling safety. When driving more dynamically, the maximum damping forces are set and the car is effectively stabilised. The AGILITY CONTROL steering of the new C-Class has a ratio of 14.5, and is therefore six percent more direct than the steering of the preceding model. The likewise included AGILITY CONTROL gearshift reflects the sporty character of the C-Class with a short travel and precise shifts.

ADAPTIVE BRAKE is another new development in the area of running gear technology. This is based on the technology of the S-Class and provides additional support functions for even more safety and comfort. Examples include Start-Off Assist for uphill gradients, priming the braking system in critical situations and light contact to dry the brake discs in wet conditions.

The Latest Mercedes Inventions Ensure Maximum Safety

During the course of its development, the new C-Class successfully passed more than 100 crash tests, including the particularly demanding, in-house impact tests of which some go well beyond the legal requirements. Passing these is a precondition for the highest accolade in automobile safety: the Mercedes star. Occupant protection is based on an intelligently designed bodyshell, 70 percent of which consists of high-strength and ultra high-strength steel. Compared to the previous series, Mercedes-Benz has enlarged the deformation zones even further and improved energy flows. The front-end structure of the new C-Class has four independently acting impact levels, which enable forces to be distributed over a wide area while bypassing the passenger cell.

The safety technology in the interior has been complemented with the very latest protection systems. Seven airbags are included as standard equipment: two adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger, two sidebags in the front seat backrests and two large windowbags which extend from the A- to the C-pillar during a side impact. The driver, front passenger and the passengers on the outer rear seats also benefit from belt tensioners and belt force limiters as standard.

Interior Design "Cast from a Single Mould"

When developing the cockpit, Mercedes designers took their lead from the sporty sector and included clearly laid-out dial instruments such as may be found in roadsters or coupes. Silver-colored bezels, black dial faces, white markings and glowing orange needles perfectly combine form with function for a high value impression and easy legibility.

Equally clearly laid out and well-arranged, the two-tone dashboard and centre console of the new C-Class form a harmonious unit in line with the "design cast from a single mould" principle. The same applies to the integration of the colour display at the upper centre of the dashboard. This is perfectly positioned within the driver's line of vision, but can also be covered or folded away as required, without switching off the radio, navigation system or other units linked to the display. If the pivoting cover of the display aperture is closed, the infotainment units continue to operate.

New Control Concept for Clarity and Comfort

The central display is part of the new control and display concept which the new C-Class has adopted from the luxury-class Mercedes models. Its major advantage is rapid access to frequently used functions, which means that the driver does not need to relearn, is able to maintain familiar habits and feels at home immediately. All the control and display elements necessary and important during a journey are located in the cockpit, i.e. in immediate proximity to the driver.

In the same way, linking the standard multifunction steering wheel with the instrument cluster is an important precondition for rapid access to a wide range of information and functions in the driver's direct line of vision. Other functions such as infotainment are shown by the display at the center of the dashboard. The driver and front passenger are able to control the radio, navigation system or telephone by using a controller on the center console, or access the main menus using direct selection keys.

COMAND Provides Voice Operation, a Music Server and DVD Navigation

The Audio 20 and COMAND APS systems are a range of newly developed, optional infotainment units for C-Class passengers. They all feature a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies, as well as a Bluetooth interface which wirelessly connects the mobile phone to the hands-free system. An integral 6-CD changer and the voice control system are available on request.

The multimedia system COMAND APS offers even more functions than before in the new C-Class. One new feature is a Europe-wide navigation system whose data are stored on a hard disc (30 gigabytes). The high-resolution maps are shown on a color display (7-inch) which pivots away and disappears beneath a cover at the touch of a button. Other functions of COMAND APS include a music server with a four-gigabyte memory, a DVD-player for video and audio, and the voice control system, which Mercedes-Benz has likewise improved further: the driver no longer needs to spell out the names of countries, towns or roads, but is able to speak them as whole words. The voice control system is just as convenient when selecting radio stations or entries in the telephone directory.

The C-Class Is the Bestseller in the Mercedes Lineup

The new C-Class replaces a model series of which more than 1.4 million units have been sold since spring 2000. All in all, Mercedes-Benz has delivered more than two million of the Sedan, Estate and Sports Coupe models in the previous C-Class to customers all over the world. This makes the C-Class the bestseller in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range. is the largest market for the C-Class, accounting for around 30 percent of worldwide sales.

Appointments and Technical Highlights of the New C-Class*

Cornering lights: This function of bi-xenon headlamps provides more safety on junctions and when driving slowly on tight bends.

Optional in conjunction with bi-xenon headlamps

ADAPTIVE BRAKE: This newly developed braking system has support functions for even more safety and comfort.

Standard

Adaptive front airbags: The front airbags deploy in two stages, depending on accident severity.

Standard

AGILITY CONTROL package: A selective damping system adapts the shock absorber responses to the driving situation. The AGILITY CONTROL package also includes more direct steering and gearshifts with a short travel.

Standard

Bi-xenon headlamps: Gas-discharge lamps for dipped and high beam improve safety at night.

Optional

Bluetooth interface: The mobile phone is wirelessly linked to the hands-free system.

Standard

COMAND APS: The data of the navigation system are stored on a hard disc for even faster route calculation and better representation of the route on the display. A music server for up to 1000 tracks is also integrated.

Optional

ESP®: This safety system is able to reduce the risk of skidding on bends, and warns of pressure loss in the tyres.

Standard