The New Mercedes Benz C-Class - AGILITY CONTROL Suspension | Part Two

Suspension dampers automatically adapt to the driving situation

The new C-Class’s suspension system gives the best of both worlds: a comfortable, cosseting ride coupled with agile handling and a cornering attitude 10 per cent flatter than the previous model.  This is because every new C-Class is fitted with AGILITY CONTROL suspension, as standard.

AGILITY CONTROL has selective damping, which controls the shock absorber forces according to the driving situation.  It uses hydromechanics (rather than complicated electronics) to offer soft damping when low suspension forces are at work, when driving along a straight road, for example and much firmer damping action when high forces are applied; for example, when cornering or taking avoiding action.

The AGILITY CONTROL steering of the new C-Class has a ratio of 14.5, and is therefore six per cent more direct than the steering of the previous model. The AGILITY CONTROL manual gearshift reflects the sporty character of the C-Class with a short travel and precise shifts.

Mercedes Benz has also developed the ADVANCED AGILITY package with a “sporty” driving mode, which will become optionally available from autumn 2007.  This offers the driver a choice of two gearshift programmes: Sport and Comfort. Within these programmes the shock absorber for each wheel has infinitely variable electronic control.

ADAPTIVE BRAKE is another new development and is based on the technology of the S-Class.  It provides additional support functions for even more safety and comfort. Examples include Hill Start Assist making it easier for the driver to move off on uphill gradients, priming the braking system in critical situations and light contact to dry the brake discs in wet conditions.

Output of the supercharged four-cylinder engines increased by up to 13 per cent

With a remarkable boost in output by up to 13 per cent and an increase of around 18 per cent in torque, the engines create a lively driving experience.

Mercedes Benz has further developed the four-cylinder engines. In the petrol range, the output of the entry-level C 180 KOMPRESSOR has increased nine per cent from the previous 143 hp (105 kW) to 156 hp (115 kW), with maximum torque improved by 4.5 per cent from 220 to 230 Nm.  The C 200 KOMPRESSOR develops 20 hp (15 kW) more than before, with an output of 184 hp (135 kW) and generates its maximum torque of 250 Nm from 2800 rpm. These modified engines considerably improve the performance and fuel consumption of the four-cylinder models. From 0-62 mph the C 200 KOMPRESSOR is 0.5 seconds faster than its predecessor. Improvements in fuel consumption are equally impressive: the C 180 KOMPRESSOR consumes 0.3 litres per 100 kilometres less than before, while the combined fuel consumption of the C 200 KOMPRESSOR has been reduced by 0.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

continues... | Part Three
Published 21 January 2007 Melanie Carter

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