Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes Benz C-Class began with the introduction of the 190 sedan in 1982 as the first car in a new model series referred to within the company as the ""compact class""–below the E-Class, S-Class, and SL-Class.

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About the Mercedes Benz C-Class

The original Mercedes C-Class includes multiple technical innovations, such as a chassis with multi-link independent rear suspension and a lightweight, high-strength steel body featuring uniquely designed aerodynamic qualities.

Mercedes makes the C-Class as the only Mercedes model with a lineup of multi-valve engines. It uses a new family of four-cylinder engines called the M111. These include the C180, which packs a 1.8-liter, 120-horsepower engine; the C200 with a 2.0-liter, 134-horsepower engine; and the C220 that contains a 2.2-liter,148-horsepower engine.

Mercedes Benz C-Class Features

The current C-Class replaces the original W201 series model, originally designed by Italian car designer Bruno Sacco.

Mercedes is also releasing a new first level Benz, the C250, which packs a 1.8-liter, turbocharged engine with direct injection. These new engines mate to an improved 7G-tronic Plus transmission calibrated for fuel economy.

Mercedes Benz also releases a C-Class coupe variant for the 2012 model year. Mercedes offers the C-Class coupe in C180, C250, C350, and C63 AMG editions.

The C63 AMG coupe uses the AMG SpeedShift MCT semi-automatic transmission, replacing the 7G-Tronic transmission.

Mercedes Benz C-Class Evolution

The first generation W202 C-Class debuted in 1993 and proved to be a big hit among car buyers who craved luxury blended with sportiness without sacrificing performance. Until 1997, the C-Class sedan marked Mercedes’ entry-level model, and then Mercedes launched the A-Class.

Some styling themes carry over from the previous W201 series, but the new series has a smoother and rounder design than the previous generation of compact Mercedes cars.

The C220 provides the only four-cylinder model in the range that sells in the United States. The C230 replaced the C220 in 1996 and grew to 2.3-liter, but with the same output and a significant increase in torque to 220 lb-ft.

The C280 represents the higher-end model of the class, packing a four-valve-per-cylinder engine, capable of reaching 190 horsepower.

Four-cylinder diesel models come equipped with the same engine as the 190 in the 2.0-liter and 2.2-liter versions. Using an encapsulated engine in the diesel version earns the 190 D the name ""whisper diesel,"" while four-valve technology turns the gasoline engine version of the compact class into a high-performance sports car.

Mercedes gave the C-Class its first genuine performance model, the C36 AMG, in 1996. This advent aims to counter the six-cylinder BMW M3.

Working with AMG, the C36 has a racing-tuned suspension and a four-speed automatic gearbox, followed by a standard five-speed automatic gearbox. The 3.6-liter engine produces 276 horsepower and reaches and electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. For exclusivity, Mercedes only produced a total of 5200 C36 AMGs.

For the 1998 model year, Mercedes released the C43 AMG, powered by a 4.3-liter V-8 engine capable of moving at 302 horsepower and achieving a zero to 60 mph time of 5.8 seconds.

Mercedes introduced the second generation C-Class in 2000. The sedan uses a range of straight-four and V-6 gasoline engines, as well as diesel engines. The diesels feature direct injection and variable geometry turbochargers. Six-speed manual gearboxes come in the base model for nearly the entire range except the C320.

In 2001, Mercedes released the new T-Model station wagon and Sport Coupe. The Sport coupe is a three-door hatchback that sold poorly, so Mercedes removed it from the North American lineup in 2005, replacing it with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

In 2003, a new family of supercharged four-cylinder engines debuted, called M271. All of them use the 1.8-liter engine, but with different designations according to horsepower levels, including a version powered by natural gas.

Mercedes spun the Sport Coupé off into its own line known as the CLC-Class in 2008, but it still mostly used the W203 platform as a base. The front and tail show updates based on the W204 C-Class. The updates include a steering system borrowed from the SLK-Class and a revised suspension system.

The C-Class did not make much noise from 2009 to 2011 outside of slight cosmetic updates, but the revamped 2012 C350 makes up for that. Mercedes reveals that the 2012 C-Class contains the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

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