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Great news for all you Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts out there, the company just revealed its brand-new 2015 C-Class in Detroit on the eve of the North American International Auto Show.
Itís always challenging to update a successful product, but in this instance the stakes were higher than the International Space Station for designers and engineers in Stuttgart. The C-Class is the top-selling model series in Mercedesí vast lineup. In fact, since todayís version of the car landed on the global market in 2007 more than 2.4 million of them have been sold.
Like practically every new car, the 2015 modelís overall dimensions have increased slightly. The wheelbase is up about three inches, supposedly to benefit taller people; the car is 1.6 inches wider while the body is nearly four inches longer. Likewise, trunk space grows to 17 cubic feet, which is close to full-size sedan territory.
The 2015 C-Class features an all-new architecture that helps it lose up to 220 pounds compared to its predecessor. The mass reduction is largely courtesy of aluminum, which makes up nearly 50 percent of the 2015 C-Classí structure. Cutting the fat should help the car handle better and significantly improve fuel economy.
Two different models will launch in the United States. The C300 4MATIC is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 241 hp and 273 lb-ft. Stepping up from there, the C400 4MATIC features a 3.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection V6. It puts out 329 hp and 354 lb-ft. Both engines are matched to a seven-speed automatic transmissionÖ no surprise there.
Thanks to new engines and a significant weight loss this car is expected to be up to 20 percent more efficient and thatís a huge improvement.
Of course the chassis also received attention. The body is supported by an all-new suspension system featuring a four-link front axle and a five-link independent rear end. The new C-Class also offers a sport suspension that lowers the ride by more than half an inch plus thereís an available air suspension, which is supposedly a first for its segment.
The 2015 C-Classí exterior body work isnít too different from todayís model; itís clearly an evolution of familiar Mercedes design cues, but the interior is a different story. The company has really stepped up its game inside.
The cabin in todayís C-Class is ok but it looks a bit outdated and the materials arenít that great. However, the interior of this 2015 model is something entirely different. The dashboard is deeply sculpted and features these bold-looking air vents; thereís a sweeping center console thatís home to the touchpad controller for the infotainment system; and then thereís all-new switchgear. Itís very premium in here.
SEE ALSO: 2014 Detroit Auto Show Coverage
Two different display screens are available, one spanning 7 inches and another that clocks in at 8.4 and comes with the optional multimedia package. Unfortunately they both look like total afterthoughts. This awkward arrangement is reminiscent of an iPad Mini gaffer taped to the dashboard. Itís totally inelegant.
Of course the driver and passengers are protected by an overwhelming barrage of safety technology, probably more computer power than the NSA has at its disposal. Things like brake, steering and lane-keeping assist make driving safer and less fatiguing.
Pricing and availability have not been announced at this time. But if youíre seriously interested in a small luxury sedan the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is probably worth waiting for, unfortunately though we donít know how long that will be.
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