Just as images of the new, and soon-to-be-launched A-Class sedan have broken cover on the Indian interwebs, Mercedes-Benz have chosen to overwhelm our senses by unveiling the new C-Class. Not to put too fine a point on it, but, well we quite like the cut of its jib. Given that the current and fifth-generation C-Class is a World Car of The Year title holder, Merc knows that its successor ought to be better in every way, if it is to swim out of the shark-infested waters of top-shelf executive sedans and come out victorious, as it always has in the past.
So what does the new C-Class have to offer?
Most of the C-Class’s competition comes with pedigreed looks. But the sixth-gen C manages to look a tad more stately, thanks to a proportionate grille, clean lines and a marginally longer wheelbase (65mm). Merc’s trademark “power bulges” are all there, but it’s clearly trimmed fat, making the overall design makes the car look taut and lean. The faux air-intakes on the bumper are a bit tacky, but you’d be easily forgiving for mistaking this for a far more expensive car.
Especially when you consider what’s inside. The large, single unit glass slab has been replaced by a more wholesome looking cabin. There’s a large 10.5-inch tablet in the centre, placed vertically and equipped with Merc’s second-gen MBUX system. You can opt for the larger 11.9-inch screen from the S-Class, if you want to remotely hack into the Pentagon or something. For the rest of us, 10.5-inch ought to do nicely. Most noticeable in its absence is the lack of a click-pad or a rotary knob, with the central touchscreen providing all the access you need. This looks great, but doesn’t have a lot of real-world utility, as buttons and knobs save time and are preferable to jabbing one’s digits into a bright touchscreen. Obviously it isn’t the only screen, with a 10.25-inch. The rest of the cabin looks gorgeously detailed with jet plane inspired air-con vents, two-tone dash and a sculptural, flat-bottomed steering.
All variants of the upcoming C-Class will now come with electrified four-cylinder engines, including the as-yet-unseen C63 AMG - whose power will be supplemented by an electric motor. A 48V electric starter motor is standard on all variants of the new C, be it diesel or petrol. The engines are noticeably smaller in capacity with a 1.5-litre petrol turbo-petrol available in two different states of tune. One, the C180 makes 167bhp while the other C200 makes 204. There is a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol option, which will hopefully be making its way to India. The C300 will make a more satisfactory 259 bhp of power, and sitting right below the future C63, it’s clear that Merc isn’t chasing sporty credentials here. That’s what the BMW 3-Series is for. There are also three diesel options, all sharing the same 2.0-litre engine we’re familiar with, with a marginal (42cc) increment in cubic capacity, with power levels ranging from 160bhp to 262bhp. That seamless 9-speed gearbox comes as standard across the range.
There’s also a plug-in hybrid variant (C300e) but there’s no word on whether it will make its way to our shores.
The restThere’s no word on when the C-Class will arrive in India, but expect it sometime next year, given Mercedes-Benz India’s tendency to stay ahead of the curve at all times. This is a luxury-oriented sedan, but there will be the option of rear-wheel steering for those inclined towards spirited driving.