The completely redesigned 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is now expected to make its debut in January at the Detroit Auto Show. While the automaker offered only a fleeting glimpse of the car's exterior in a factory teaser video issued last week, it has now released a number of interior images along with a fairly comprehensive information sheet detailing much of what we can expect to see in this new-gen sport/luxury compact.
As anticipated, the new C-Class promises to be an even more sophisticated exercise on every level. It will match a bolder appearance with more upscale features and bring several new technological touches to the segment in a package that's both trimmer and more agile than the car it replaces. The new C-Class structure makes far greater use of lightweight aluminum throughout along with additional hot-formed and ultra-high-strength steels to set new benchmarks for rigidity in its class and also provide enhanced passenger protection. Wrapped in all-aluminum body panels, the C-Class remake also sees it shed about 220 pounds.
In addition to a fully re-engineered multilink front/rear steel suspension, the next-gen C-Class will be the first vehicle in its segment with an optional air suspension system. Beyond basic Direct Control tuning with its Comfort/ECO/Sport/Sport Plus modes, M-B's well-proven Airmatic continuously variable damping setup also will offer buyers unique Comfort and Sport configurations.
From what the photos show, the fully recast cabin of the 2015 C-Class shares a number of upline design cues with the new S-Class and CLA-Class that add both visual and tactile appeal to this now even-quieter realm. The new 12-button multifunction steering wheel, 7.0-inch central display (8.4-inch on models with Comand Online) and a sweeping center console are complemented by a new touchpad in the handset that sits above the multimedia controller. The pad now offers supplemental handwriting recognition functionality that makes it capable of operating all of the car's infotainment functions. In addition to a new Air Balance option that can deliver four fragrances and also ionize air molecules to help destroy virus, bacteria and mold, the 2015 C-Class can be had with a segment-exclusive, tunnel detection via satellite navigation feature that automatically closes the recirculation flap in the climate control system to prevent noxious exhaust fumes from entering the passenger compartment.
As always, safety remains a Mercedes priority and the new C-Class steps up its game in a big way. Most of the new "Intelligent Drive" active assist systems that debuted in the S-Class and E-Class will be available to complement the standard Attention Assist. They include Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control with Steering Assist, BAS Plus Brake Assist System with cross-traffic detection and auto-boost braking, M-B's Pre-Safe system, enhanced Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Parking Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus and a 360-degree camera.
No word yet on powertrains for the new C-Class, although Mercedes-Benz will no doubt be rolling out more information and additional exterior images of this critically important new offering in the coming weeks.
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