After numerous spied sightings, leaked images, and teasers, Mercedes-Benz recently took the wraps off the new C-Class, now in its sixth-generation. While at first glance, it may only seem like an evolution of the outgoing model, the new Mercedes C-Class is thoroughly new, heavily drawing elements from its eldest sibling, the new Mercedes S-Class. A lot has changed with this generation update, particularly inside the cabin and under the hood. Let's take a closer look at it, shall we?
2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - Exterior Design
The overall silhouette of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a striking resemblance with that of the S-Class. The face of the new C-Class looks a lot more sharper, thanks to sleeker LED headlamps and a protruding nose that houses a new and larger radiator grille. The grille even gets a new three-pointed star mesh design. In profile, the C-Class looks very similar to the outgoing model and at the rear, it gets new sleek LED tail lights, akin to other new Mercedes-Benz models.
The AMG Line looks a little sportier with familiar AMG-spec bumpers, grille and wheels. Yes, the design is evolutionary and more like a facelift than a generation update. The new C-Class is, however, considerably larger than the outgoing model. It is 65mm longer, 10mm wider and the wheelbase has also gone up by 25mm. Space inside the cabin has also increased inevitably.
2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - Interior and Features
On the inside, the new C-Class again draws heavy inspiration from the S-Class. If you thought the exterior hasn't been updated comprehensively enough, you will surely not say that about the interiors. The dashboard design has been completely refreshed with a new vertically mounted tablet-like touchscreen unit. The dual-screen infotainment setup is now gone. The 12.3-inch instrument cluster has now been set up individually and turbine-style AC vents too have been redesigned.
The overall feel and layout of the interiors also seem much more premium than before. The central infotainment screen can be had in either 10.25-inch or 11.9-inch configurations. Other features include a Burmester audio system, a head-up display projecting information nearly 15ft ahead of the car, and over-the-air updates.
2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - Engine Options
This is where the most comprehensive set of updates lie for the new C-Class. Gone are the fire-breathing V8 and silky-smooth straight-six engines. Instead, the new C-Class will be powered by four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines only, which will come coupled with a 48v mild-hybrid system as standard.
The petrol engine lineup starts with the C180 and C200 variants. These models are powered by a 1.5L turbo-petrol engine, with the most powerful variant making 204hp and 300Nm coupled with the 48v mild-hybrid system. Then comes the C300 variant which is powered by a 2.0L turbo-petrol engine that makes 258hp and 400Nm. The C200 variant accelerates from 0-100 kph in 7.3 second while the c300 does it in 6 seconds. Top speeds are rated at 240kmph (C200) and 250kmph (C300).
As for the diesel engines, there are two variants on offer - C220d and C300d - both powered by 2.0L engines. In the C220d variant, the engine produces 200hp and 400Nm. In the C300d variant, the engine produces 265hp and 550Nm. The former accelerates from 0-100 kph in 7.3 seconds, while the latter does it in 5.7 seconds. Top-speed is rated at 245kmph and 250kmph respectively.
There will also be a plug-in hybrid C300e variant that will be introduced at a later stage. This model will be powered by a 197hp/320Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine that will be combined with a 127hp/440Nm electric motor. It will boast of a 25.4kWh battery pack that will give the C300e a WLTP claimed range of 100km in EV mode. All engines will come mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox as standard. This also extends to the spicer AMG models that will be introduced later. Mercedes-Benz is also offering an optional rear-axle steering for the new C-Class that can turn the rear wheels by up to 2.5 degrees, reducing turning radius at lower speed and increasing stability at higher speeds.
Back here in India, the fifth-generation C-Class is priced from INR 41.31 lakh to INR 1.39 crore (ex-showroom India). The new models is expected to arrive in India in 2022 after it goes on sale internationally later this year. When launched, it will continue its rivalry with the likes of the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 facelift and the Jaguar XE.