Mercedes-Benz has released first interior images of the next-generation C-Class, which is very likely to debut in January at the Detroit Auto Show or in March at the Geneva Motor Show.
The next C-Class, which we have seen in numerous spy shots is like a smaller version of the new S-Class. That also implies to the interior, which takes from both the CLA and S-Class.
The new cabin is a nice improvement with higher quality materials and has a more elegant and dynamic feel to it.
We get to see a high centre console, which creates a cockpit-like space seen usually in higher-end sports cars.
The images and a very detailed press release reveal the new C-Class gets plenty of carbon, control for the COMAND system with touch-pad controls is very similar to that on the new S-Class, there will be also heads-up display, an HVAC system called Air Balance and all the latest sensors and safety features.
Compared to the outgoing model the body shell is 70kg lighter.
The new C-Class
Upgrade inside – more Class
October 2013 — Mercedes-Benz is writing the next chapter of success with the all-new C-Class. An interior with an exciting, high-class ambience, touchpad and head-up display, the lightest bodyshell in the segment, extensive safety features, a new agile and comfortable suspension as well as GPS-sensitive air conditioning underscore the inner values of the new C-Class. Overall, its innovations and refined equipment and appointments feel like an upgrade to a higher class.
The interior design of the future C-Class comes across as clear, sensual and with a host of new unusual styling features. At the same time it exudes sportiness – but with sensual shapes and high-grade materials, thus epitomising contemporary luxury. It also meets the kind of high design expectations that now tend to be synonymous with technology such as high-end smartphones.
The most prominent new styling features include a completely reinterpreted centre console, whose progressive lines create an inviting, open sense of space, as well as a free-standing central display. High-grade materials, as well as an enthralling interplay of organic surfaces and precisely sculpted lines underscore these new aesthetics and its stylish character.
The innovative touchpad developed by Mercedes-Benz in the new C-Class also marks an important evolutionary step. As on a smartphone, all the head-unit functions can easily be operated using finger gestures. The user also receives clear, haptic feedback when operating the touchpad control surface.
Additional to the information in the central display a head-up display is also new in the C-Class. Like in a jet fighter it projects important information as a virtual image directly into the driver’s field of vision. It appears to float over the bonnet, around two metres in front of the driver, thus ensuring the driver is distracted less from the road ahead. The system provides information on speed, speed limits, navigation instructions and messages from DISTRONIC PLUS. It features a high-resolution virtual image which the driver can adjust to their preferred settings.
Intelligent lightweight construction
Less weight, excellent rigidity for superb driving handling coupled with optimum noise and vibration characteristics as well as high crash safety – those are the outstanding characteristics of the new C-Class with its aluminium hybrid body, which makes it the “lightweight construction trailblazer” in its segment. Thanks to intelligent and innovative lightweight construction, the body and bodyshell are around 70 kg lighter than conventional production using steel. The entire vehicle is around 100 kilograms lighter compared with the predecessor. This weight saving significantly reduces fuel consumption to set the new standard in this segment.
Mercedes-Benz has pulled off this technological leap primarily through an entirely new design and the extensive usage of aluminium, hot-formed steel parts and ultra-high-strength steels – an unusual combination in volume-production vehicles. The engineers have redesigned every detail and not simply replaced steel with aluminium, but implemented a concept that is ready for series production by using the right material in the right place – the essence of intelligent lightweight construction.
At the same time the body and bodyshell have been designed to deliver exemplary crash safety. The Saloon not only meets all current national safety ratings, but also the more stringent Mercedes-Benz requirements according to “Best Real Life Safety”. A high-strength safety passenger compartment made predominantly out of high- and ultra-high-strength sheet steel and specifically developed deformation zones with optimised force dissipation paths in the front end and rear made out of an aluminium hybrid structure and an exterior skin that is made virtually entirely of aluminium allow these requirements to be met.
Suspension – agile and yet comfortable
The new C-Class comes across as light-footed and agile, delivering a high level of driving pleasure on winding roads coupled with superb ride comfort in its segment. A newly designed 4-link front axle, which provides excellent axle kinematics, makes a major contribution in this respect.
The new C-Class Saloon is fitted as standard with a steel suspension. Alternatively, it is the first vehicle in this segment that can be fitted with an air suspension (AIRMATIC) on the front and rear axles. Thanks to electronically controlled, continuous variable damping, it offers outstanding road roar and tyre vibration characteristics and the choice of different damper characteristics.
New safety features and assistance systems
The sensor for the new front passenger airbag in the future C-Class can detect every child seat installed. Then the airbag is automatically deactivated. After removing the child seat the airbag is activated again.
The new C-Class also incorporates many of the new assistance systems or existing assistance systems with a range of enhanced functions, which celebrated their world premiere in the S-Class only a few months ago: Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive.
The new C-Class is the only vehicle in the segment to offer an air condition system including automatic air recirculation with tunnel detection using satellite navigation. The AIR-BALANCE package with active fragrancing and ionisation, which celebrated its world premiere in the S-Class, also adds to the feel-good atmosphere.
Increase in perceived value comes from inside
The cockpit and passenger compartment come across as clear, sensual and with a host of new unusual styling details. Clarity stands for visible high-tech attributes and straight-line sportiness – purism in the best sense of the word. Sensuality stands for design ideas with exciting flowing shapes and high-grade materials – a reinterpretation of contemporary luxury.
The Mercedes-Benz designers have styled the interior on a level which one rarely finds even in higher vehicle categories. This applies to the painstaking choice of select, high-class materials and their pleasant touch and feel as well as the precision of the finely crafted details. But it also applies to a new design idiom which combines elegance and harmony congenially with sensuality and dynamic sportiness, thus adding to the interior’s extraordinarily high perceived value.
Courage to embrace the new
The designers pick up key traits of the exterior inside the vehicle in order to achieve this overall aim. This applies above all to the scintillating play of contrasts between the clearly sculpted lines and surfaces which grow organically out of these contrasts. The hallmark contemporary Mercedes-Benz design idiom of the dropping line sloping to the rear is, for instance, picked up in the doors. At the same time, the style-defining new interior of the new C-Class meets the most discerning design expectations which are today characterised by devices such as high-end smartphones and tablets. Thus the driver and passengers in the new C-Class enjoy a generous sense of space and understated luxury, whose clear-cut style fits in with contemporary tastes. The upshot is a new feel-good character in this category – take a seat in the new C-Class and the sensation is something akin to an upgrade from economy to business class on an airline.
Mercedes-Benz not only raises the character and perceived value of the interior to a new level for this category with the new C-Class. At the same time, the premium brand also consciously demonstrates through the interior styling the courage to embrace the new in many respects, to adopt a forward-looking vision, thus making an almost radical break with the previous norms in the
hitherto somewhat rational class.
The most striking new styling feature is an entirely reinterpreted centre console: on vehicles with automatic transmissions, its large, one-piece dashboard console sweeps elegantly from the centre air outlets to the equally new touchpad in the handrest over the controller on the central tunnel. These continuous clear-cut lines with their perfect harmony create an open sense of space, conveying an unrivalled sense of simple and puristic modernity. The large unique component is available in numerous material finishes – such as fine wood, precisely bordered by a chrome surround, or in an exclusive piano-lacquer look – and underscores the interior’s high-quality ambience and its avant-garde yet stylish character in a pleasant, clear way.
The progressively styled centre console provides an extremely fluid transition to the dashboard and beyond into the doors. The sportily designed, horizontal dashboard separates a wing-like trim element in the upper and lower section. This visual structure enables various combinations of materials and colours to be selected to create an individual feel-good atmosphere.
High quality all-round
A centrally positioned free-standing central display is the main eye-catching feature across the centre console – with a screen diagonal of 17.78 centimetres (7 inches) or 21.33 centimetres (8.4 inches) if COMAND Online is specified. The larger version is made of bonded glass and galvanised with a frame in silver shadow. Thanks to its ergonomic positioning, the eye easily adapts to the
Five air outlets with a central adjusting knob and horizontal louvre insert give the dashboard a sporty touch. The five ventilation outlets in silver shadow with their metallic cool-touch effect contrast with the warm look of the other materials – such as the wood in the centre console or the leather on the dashboard.
Three-dimensional, fine, contemporary trim elements emphasise the high perceived value – as does the hand-finished, intricate stitching, such as on the upper section of the dashboard, in the centre panel and on the beltlines. The door panelling has also been redesigned and is characterised by high-grade materials as well as striking surface grain and eye-catching curves.
While various steering wheel variants are specified depending on the selected equipment line, each one comes in a 3-spoke leather steering wheel design with twelve buttons. The differences relate to the colours and material. This provides the interior with wide-ranging differentiation options, running the whole gamut from “tangible luxurious sensuality” to “progressive sportiness”.
The discerning aspirations are also continued systematically in the controls. Surfaces with uniform styling and a minimal number of switches provide a serene, reassured sense of space. Some of the switches such as for the power windows or the rotary switch for the lights were taken from the S-Class, thus setting the highest standards. Black high-sheen, genuine metal and galvanised surfaces, as well as effect paintwork matching the interior appointments colours form a key element of the high-quality feel.
Command with finger-tip control
The touchpad in the new C-Class developed by Mercedes-Benz marks an evolutionary step. As on a smartphone, all the head-unit functions can be operated using finger gestures.
The 65 x 45 millimetre control surface of the new touchpad made out of scratch-resistant material is built into the handrest on the central control panel and bordered by a high-quality metal support – a design feature with high-tech aspirations which exudes luxury at the same time.
While other solutions with a touch-sensitive surface only support selected operating steps, the driver and front passenger can use the touchpad in the new C-Class to control all the functions in the central infotainment control panel using the kind of single and multitouch gestures familiar from smartphones and tablet PCs. Slow and fast gestures are possible. The touchpad, which will be premiered in the future C-Class, also allows letters, numbers and special characters to be entered using the handwriting recognition function, in the respective language supported by the head unit. The user receives clear haptic feedback when operating the touchpad control surface. Characters entered using the handwriting function can also be read aloud by the system, thus supporting blind operation. The acoustic output also ensures that the driver does not need to take their eyes off the road, keeping distraction to an absolute minimum.
The user can input commands reliably with their hand sitting firmly on the ergonomic handrest without any need for free-floating fingers. A new handrest detection feature also increases operating safety and helps prevent incorrect inputs. As part of this process, the system analyses a sensor signal in three dimensions, thus detecting whether the hand is simply being placed on the handrest or is actually inputting data. The icons on the control surface are illuminated in the dark to help the user locate the various functions.
Three touch-sensitive buttons are arranged behind the touchpad which can be used to operate key functions quickly and directly (back function, switch to favourites menu, audio quick menu).
The touchpad in the C-Class thus offers an additional, fully fledged and innovative input option to complement the existing Controller and LINGUATRONIC voice control system. The user can choose at any time which input method they prefer.
Info in focus
Additional to the information in the central display a head-up display is a new feature in the C-Class. Like in a jet fighter, it displays important information directly in the driver’s field of view on the front windscreen, thus ensuring the driver is distracted less from the road ahead. The system provides information on speed, speed limits, navigation instructions and messages from driver assistance systems.
The technology is based on mirror optics and a full-colour display module with a resolution of 480 x 240 pixels which is driven by high-power LEDs. They project the virtual image, which measures around 21 x 7 centimetres, into the driver’s field of vision where it appears to float around two metres away above the bonnet. The resolution of more than 60 pixels per degree of viewing angle ensures a pin-sharp image.
A light sensor located near the top edge of the roof automatically adjusts the brightness of the head-up display to the exterior lighting conditions. Brightness levels of 10,000 cd/m² plus can be achieved on sunny days. Since the contrast figure is better than 1000:1, the system produces a high-quality display even in the dark.
The driver can adjust the height of the virtual image so it can be easily viewed. On vehicles with a seat memory function this feature stores the individual setting. A range of display content can also be enabled or disabled and the brightness of the display adjusted individually.
The special head-up windscreen with its wedge-shaped laminated foil eliminates double images produced by reflections on the outer and inner boundary surfaces of the windscreen. It superimposes the secondary image, which is produced on the outer surface, onto the primary image. This offset depends on the particular angle and has been optimised for a driver in a normal seated position.
Sturdy bodyshell – made easy
Less weight, excellent rigidity for superb driving handling coupled with optimum noise and vibration characteristics as well as high crash safety – the bodyshell of the new C-Class provides an innovative base which also facilitates new fuel consumption benchmark figures.
Lighter cars are more efficient. That is why Mercedes-Benz has substantially reduced the weight of the future C-Class. Thanks to intelligent and innovative lightweight construction, the aluminium hybrid body is around 70 kg lighter than conventional production using steel. The gross vehicle weight has been cut by around 100 kilograms compared with the predecessor, which translates into up to 20 percent lower fuel consumption without any loss in power. This has turned the new C-Class into the “lightweight construction leader” in its segment.
Mercedes-Benz has pulled off this technological leap primarily through an entirely new design and the extensive usage of aluminium, hot-formed steel parts and ultra-high-strength steels – an unusual combination in volume-production vehicles. The proportion of these materials has therefore increased noticeably compared with the successful predecessor.
Previous model series / New C-Class
Aluminium (sheet metal and cast) 9% / 48%
Hot-formed steel parts 3% / 8%
Ultra-high-strength sheet steel 3% / 4%
Simply by using these materials, the weight of the bodyshell structure has been reduced by some 40 kilograms compared with the outgoing saloon. Virtually the entire outer skin, consisting of front wings, bonnet, boot lid, doors and the roof panelling, has been made from sheet aluminium, thus helping reduce weight further.
The bodyshell engineers delivered further benefits – both in terms of weight and as regards other important body characteristics – by means of intelligent conceptual lightweight construction. As part of this process, they have redesigned each detail optimally and not simply replaced steel with aluminium. After all, the specification not only required a reduction in weight, but also called for a bodyshell which in many respects sets new, challenging standards, with hitherto unprecedented performance in this segment – for instance the high rigidity at the force transition points from the suspension to the body or in relation to the NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) characteristics. This essentially helps optimise the tyre noise.
New bodyshell concepts proved the most direct way of meeting these requirements. The designers exploited the greater design leeway offered by die-cast aluminium, for instance, compared with steel. The body thus consists of nine large cast components. The same designers also managed to integrate and merge various components in a single die-cast component, which would otherwise have to be made up of several steel components with conventional steel designs. In this way a host of functions can be mapped in a single component and installation space put to optimum use. All shock absorbers
are mounted in the front and rear of the vehicle on rigid aluminium die-cast components.
Other design details include larger cross-sections as well as precisely calculated stabilising beading in the floor and bulkhead. High-strength adhesives are used extensively to firmly bond the parts, which in turn helps increase the rigidity of the body.
Body and bodyshell clearly exceed the values for overall vehicle rigidity, which are traditionally outstanding for Mercedes-Benz, and set a new benchmark in this segment. As a result, the ambitious goals regarding driving dynamics and noise level have even been exceeded.
Safety takes precedence
The body has been designed for exemplary crash safety. The Saloon not only meets all current national laws, but also all rating requirements as well as the more stringent internal Mercedes-Benz safety requirements which are based on what actually happens during accidents.
A high-strength safety passenger compartment lies at the heart of this concept. It consists essentially of high and ultra-high-strength sheet steel and panels with graduated wall thicknesses designed to withstand specific local stresses.
It is surrounded by specifically calculated deformation zones which have been extensively field-tested. Thanks to optimised dissipation paths and a combination of aluminium cast parts and ultra-high-strength materials, this set-up achieves outstanding crash test results (e.g. Euro NCAP and U.S. NCAP) and guarantees maximum safety for occupants.
The crash structure of the front end is essentially made up of three components:
– The front side members are bolted to the axle and engine mounts made of high-strength steel and extended towards the front and rear to direct forces specifically into the floor structure. In the case of a serious frontal collision, the subframe deforms in a defined manner in order to prevent intrusions into the passenger compartment.
– As a medium impact level, the geometry of the front-end main side members has been fine-tuned to improve crash kinematics. The innovative “laser welding” joining technique enabled, among other things, reinforcement parts to be incorporated. They also reduce the weight and contribute substantially to improving rigidity. Impact-absorbing elements in the side member extensions projecting forwards towards the front wheels help cushion the frontal impact early on.
– Additional wheel arch reinforcements form a third structure located above the front side members to further increase resistance to shape deformation in the event of a frontal collision.
A curved high-pressure hydroformed tube and aluminium cast consoles with additional struts, which have hitherto only been used in cabriolets, enclose the front module. An additional strut made out of high-strength steel between the damper dome and windscreen cross-member on the driver’s side distributes the load from forces in the upper side member level and reduces steering and pedal intrusion in the footwell.
The rear area uses an aluminium hybrid design with longitudinal and cross-member components made out of die-cast aluminium and high-strength steels. Graduated sheet metal thicknesses of the rear floor side members provide specific deformation characteristics in the event of a rear impact.
Reinforcement sections in the beltline area and at bumper level increase the rigidity and strength of the aluminium doors. The handle areas are also protected by ring-shaped reinforcement measures. The sidewall structure is primarily reinforced with hot-formed ultra-high-strength materials. This provides optimum occupant protection in the case of a side impact; the B-pillar design in particular makes an outstanding contribution in this respect. The front and rear end can be completely removed, making the vehicle easy to repair.
Chassis and suspension
Comfort meets dynamism
The suspension is all-new and offers exemplary suspension and ride comfort combined with outstanding driving dynamics. The new C-Class comes across as light-footed and agile, delivering a high level of driving pleasure on winding roads coupled with superb ride comfort in its segment.
A newly designed 4-link front axle plays a major part in the agile handling characteristics. Thanks to the 4-link principle, the front independent suspension is fully decoupled from the spring strut – resulting in favourable axle kinematics: for instance the camber increases as the suspension is compressed. This gives rise to more grip and greater cornering forces, making the suspension respond more sensitively to steering movements and allowing a sporty, agile driving style. Since the kingpin inclination is also close to the wheel centre, this provides for large longitudinal force leverage and keeps the scrub radius small, thus minimising sensitivity to vibrations caused by tyre imbalances and fluctuations in braking force.
The components in the new front axle are also made of aluminium. This saves weight (two kilograms less than steel) and thus provides a precise response. This reduction in weight also contributes to the high efficiency of the new C-Class.
An optimised multi-link independent rear suspension with 5-link concept ensures unsurpassed wheel location qualities and supreme straight-line stability. A large rear axle bearing augments the outstanding NVH characteristics.
The new C-Class Saloon is fitted as standard with a steel suspension. As an option, three DIRECT CONTROL suspensions are available in conjunction with this suspension:
– A comfort suspension with selective damping system which adjusts automatically to the state of the road surface,
– A DIRECT CONTROL suspension with selective damping system which combines high levels of comfort with sporty looks and
– A sports suspension which is lowered by 15 millimetres, also withselective damping system and sports tuning.
First air suspension in this category
Alternatively, the new C-Class is the first vehicle in its segment that can be fitted with an air suspension (AIRMATIC) on the front and rear axles. Thanks to electronically controlled, continuous variable damping at the front and rear, it offers outstanding road roar and tyre vibration characteristics even with the vehicle loaded. The driver can use a switch to select between the various damper characteristics: “Comfort”, “ECO”, “Sport” and “Sport Plus”. The additional “Individual” setting allows the driver to configure the vehicle to suit their personal preferences.
AIRMATIC also features all-round self-levelling for optimum ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded. It automatically regulates the ride height as a function of speed and can, for instance, reduce fuel consumption and improve active safety by lowering the vehicle at motorway speeds. The ground clearance can also be increased at the push of a button using the ride height adjustment switch on rough roads or poor access roads.
Since neither the air struts at the front nor the free-standing air springs at the rear are responsible for wheel location and need to absorb transverse forces, AIRMATIC offers outstandingly comfortable driving characteristics which are otherwise the reserve of the luxury segment. It smooths out for passengers expansion joints, patches of asphalt and undulating asphalt caused by trucks braking at traffic lights.
Without impairing comfort, the adjustable damping can deliver a high level of driving dynamics. During evasive manoeuvres, the system adjusts, for instance, the damping forces to the vehicle’s driving dynamics in fractions of a second.
Front passenger airbag
Intelligent passenger in the front seat
Safety ranks among the core values of the Mercedes-Benz brand, which once again takes the lead by pioneering a host of innovative developments. One such development is the adaptive front-passenger airbag in the new C-Class.
The front passenger seat can be fitted with automatic child seat recognition, which dispenses with the existing transponder and instead works with a weight mat. This enables any child seat to be used. The airbag is automatically deactivated in this case and reactivated once the child seat has been removed. Mercedes-Benz is setting new standards with this system. Unlike systems offered by competitors, which often use a key switch to deactivate the airbag, this system prevents the user from operating the airbag incorrectly. Users often forget to manually activate the front passenger airbag when removing the child seat. In the event of an accident this can place adult occupants in considerable danger since the front passenger airbag and the seat belts work in tandem and can only achieve the necessary protective effect for adults by operating together. The system presented here prevents this by automatically activating the front passenger airbag when the child seat is removed.
Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive
The intelligent car
Making top-class safety available to everyone is the declared aim of Mercedes-Benz. That is why the new C-Class also incorporates many of the new assistance systems and assistance systems with a host of enhanced functions, which celebrated their world premiere in the S-Class and E-Class only a few months ago. These systems enhance comfort and safety at the same time. Mercedes-Benz calls this Intelligent Drive.
The basis for the numerous functions of the assistance systems is an extensive sensor system, which provides the vehicle with a 360-degree all-round view. This includes a new Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera (SMPC) behind the front windscreen in the area of the rear-view mirror and hence at the level of the driver’s eyes. Two camera eyes provide it with a three-dimensional view of the
area up to around 50 metres in front of the vehicle, and it is able to monitor the overall situation ahead for a range of up to 500 metres and thus detect the position and movement of objects, especially of vehicles and pedestrians.
Two short-range radar sensors in the front bumper and at the side of the rear bumper respectively (range up to 30 metres), a long-range radar (up to 200 metres) including mid-range scan (up to 60 metres) behind the radiator grille and a multi-mode radar (up to 80 metres) in the middle of the rear bumper complete the sensor system.
The data from the camera and radar is amalgamated in a control unit in order to provide the system-specific data for the various functions for a host of assistance systems – a process dubbed “sensor fusion” by the safety experts. Intelligent algorithms perform a visual evaluation of this three-dimensional information in order to detect and carry out spatial classification of vehicles that are driving ahead, crossing, approaching from the rear and even oncoming, as well as pedestrians, within a large field of vision. In addition, the camera also detects road markings and a variety of traffic signs. The aim is all-round protection not just for occupants of the vehicle itself, but for other road users too.
The new C-Class is fitted as standard with ATTENTION ASSIST, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness. The COMAND system navigation function on motorways flags up nearby break options as stopovers, providing the system has been specified in the vehicle. The ATTENTION ASSIST function offers an adjustable level of sensitivity and can inform the driver in a separate view in the instrument cluster about their level of drowsiness and how long they have been driving since their last break.
As an option, new assistance systems and existing assistance systems with a host of enhanced functions from the new S-Class and E-Class are available, which fuse data from various sensor technologies as part of the Intelligent Drive concept, thus substantially enhancing comfort and safety. For instance the Stop&Go Pilot integrated in DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist is a semi-automatic traffic jam assistant, which at speeds below 60 km/h can follow the vehicle ahead even where there are no or unclear lane markings, thus enabling the driver to follow the flow of traffic.
The BAS PLUS Brake Assist System can now also detect crossing traffic and boost the braking force if the driver fails to apply the brakes sufficiently; the PRE-SAFE® Brake can detect stationary vehicles as well as pedestrians, brake automatically if the driver fails to react and thus prevent accidents up to 50 km/h and mitigate the severity up to 72 km/h. In flowing traffic, the PRE-SAFE® Brake provides similar assistance throughout the entire speed range from 7 to 200 km/h. The enhanced Active Lane Keeping Assist can now also prevent the vehicle from unintentionally drifting out of the lane by applying the brakes on one side in the case of broken lane markings and the risk of a collision, e.g. through fast overtaking vehicles, parallel traffic or even oncoming traffic.
The host of assistance systems also includes Active Parking Assist, which facilitates automatic parking with active steering and braking intervention in parallel and perpendicular spaces, a 360° camera which can show the vehicle and vehicle environment from various perspectives incl. virtual bird’s-eye view, a Traffic Sign Assist with wrong-way warning function, which can also provide a warning of speed limits and no-overtaking and no-entry zones, as well as the Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, which provides an anti-dazzle permanent main beam within the main beam cone by specifically dipping the lights for other vehicles.
Signals from space
Mercedes-Benz has systematically further developed and substantially improved the air conditioning system in the new C-Class. This applies in particular to the precise regulation, performance and the air quality.
The new C-Class is the only vehicle in the segment to offer tunnel detection via satellite navigation. On the basis of map information from the navigation system and the GPS location data, the system detects when the vehicle enters a tunnel. It then automatically closes the air recirculation flap in order to prevent the exterior fume-filled air from entering the vehicle via the air vents. Once the vehicle has left the tunnel, the flap opens and fresh air can once again flow into the interior.
Individual fragrance, ionised air
Another highlight for creating the feel-good atmosphere is the AIR-BALANCE package with active fragrancing, ionisation and even more efficient filtration compared with the standard model. It was adopted from the S-Class in which the AIR-BALANCE package only recently celebrated its world premiere.
The interior fragrances extend the sensual perception of the Mercedes-Benz interior and help individualise the smell of the interior. Four different fragrances are available: FREESIDE MOOD, NIGHTLIFE MOOD, DOWNTOWN MOOD, SPORTS MOOD. The fragrancing system comprises a glass flask with a dispenser and a fragrance generator in the glove compartment.
The fragrancing changes the interior smell neither permanently, nor are the fragrance molecules deposited on the vehicle’s fabric surfaces nor on clothing. The impression left by the fragrance is subtle, comes across as unobtrusive and fades away quickly. The vehicle occupants can switch the active fragrancing on and off, and adjust its intensity to their own preferences.
Ionisation is another component of the AIR-BALANCE package, with which the air from the air conditioning is conducted into the interior via the ioniser. The ioniser uses a high voltage to generate oxygen ions (oxygen molecules where the high voltage has “snatched” an electron in its shell and which have become electrically charged as a result). The air ionised in this way can eliminate certain viruses, bacteria and spores. At the same time the air can be freshened by an increased concentration of negatively charged oxygen ions. Both help to increase the well-being of passengers.