March 7, 2007

Mercedes-Benz unveils triple premiere for new C-Class

Mercedes-Benz C220 Bluetec
Mercedes-Benz C220 Bluetec. Click image to enlarge

Photo Gallery: Mercedes-Benz C220 Bluetec

Geneva, Switzerland – Mercedes-Benz has presented a triple premiere of its all-new C-Class at the Geneva Auto Show, unveiling the standard production model, the AMG-Mercedes C-Class DTM 2007 racing version, and the Vision C220 BLUETEC diesel version. The C220 is the first four-cylinder engine to feature the innovative BLUETEC emissions control technology.

“Since the sales release date at the end of January, more than 55,000 customers in western Europe alone have decided in favour of the new C-Class,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, head of the Mercedes Car Group. “We are confident that the new C-Class will continue the success story of its predecessor, of which more than two million units were sold.”

The fourth-generation C-Class uses four- and six-cylinder engines which consume up to six per cent less fuel than the preceding models, accompanied by an output increase of up to 13 per cent. Despite its innovations and more generous standard appointments, and taking inflation into account, the new C-Class’ price remains at the same level as that of the preceding series. All models include an Agility Control package with situation-responsive shock absorber control; safety features include Intelligent Light System with five different lighting functions, and PRE-SAFE system with anticipatory occupant protection features. European buyers have a choice of Avantgarde, Elegance and Classic lines.

The new C-Class is also the first Mercedes sedan to appear with two different “faces”: the Avantgarde models have the Mercedes star in the centre of the grille, while the Elegance and Classic variants have a raised mascot as before.

The company is also focusing on its BLUETEC emissions control technology which, when combined with the Vision C220’s four-cylinder engine, has an output of 170 hp and peak torque of 295 lb-ft, but with fuel consumption of only 5.5 L/100 km, and with tests that confirm a 15 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The BLUETEC technology was launched in North America in October 2006 with the E320 BLUETEC, which consumes 6.7 L/100 km and was timed to coincide with the introduction of low-sulphur diesel fuel.

The event also marked the world premiere of the C-Class’ racing version for the coming German Touring Car Masters (DTM) season; the car will start its first race at the Hockenheimring on April 22. The DTM version uses a 4.0-litre V8 producing 470 hp, and modified suspension to improve handling and driving dynamics.

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