The New Mercedes Benz C-Class - Fuel Consumption Improvements | Part Three

Fuel consumption of the four-cylinder CDI engines reduced by 0.3 litres

Further development of the four-cylinder units was also the main focus for the diesel engines. The engineers in Stuttgart have made further improvements to the engine, turbocharger and common-rail direct injection, modifying more than 90 components. As a result of these measures the new C 200 CDI has 11 per cent more output than the preceding model, with 136 hp (100 kW) versus the previous 122 hp (90 kW). The C 220 CDI develops a peak output of 170 hp (125 kW) versus the previous 150 hp (110 kW) and generates a torque of 400 Nm from 2000 rpm -- around 18 per cent more than before. Fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 0.3 litres per 100 kilometres: in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), the C 200 CDI and C 220 CDI are able to travel 100 kilometres on just 6.1 litres of fuel.

The modern V6-engines in the C-Class range remain unchanged, with a choice of three petrol units developing 204 hp (150 kW), 231 hp (170 kW) and 272 hp (200 kW). The six-cylinder C 320 CDI has a power output of 224 hp (165 kW). All four-cylinder engines and the six-cylinder C 230 are equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox.  The C 280, C 350 and C 320 CDI have 7G-TRONIC, the world’s only seven-speed automatic transmission, as standard equipment. This is also available for the six-cylinder C 230 model as an option.

The latest Mercedes inventions ensure maximum safety

During the course of its development, the new C-Class Saloon successfully passed more than 100 crash tests, including the particularly demanding, in-house impact tests. Occupant protection is based on an intelligently designed bodyshell, 70 per cent of which consists of high-strength and ultra high-strength steel.  Mercedes Benz has enlarged the deformation zones even further and improved energy flows. The front-end structure of the new C-Class has four independently acting impact levels, which enable forces to be distributed over a wide area while bypassing the passenger cell.

The safety technology in the interior has been complemented with the very latest protection systems. Seven airbags are included as standard equipment: two adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag for the driver, two sidebags in the front seat backrests and two large windowbags which extend from the A to the C-pillar during a side impact. The driver, front passenger and the passengers on the outer rear seats also benefit from belt tensioners and belt force limiters as standard. The standard head restraints operate on the NECK PRO principle: during a rear-end collision the padded surfaces are pushed forward and upward within milliseconds to support the heads of the driver and front passenger at an early stage. This significantly reduces the risk of a whiplash injury.

Mercedes Benz has developed flashing adaptive brake lights as a major help in reducing rear-end collisions, and these are also standard equipment in the new C-Class. If the driver needs to brake hard at speeds in excess of 30 mph the brake lights flash rapidly to warn drivers following behind.  At higher speeds of around 70 mph, flashing lights make drivers react 0.2 seconds quicker than they do to conventional brake lights.

PRE-SAFE is another innovative standard feature of the new Mercedes Saloon. This preventive occupant protection system is linked to active safety systems such as ESP and Brake Assist, and is able to recognise critical driving manoeuvres at a very early stage. If the C-Class is in danger of crashing as a result of heavy under or oversteering, or if the driver needs to brake very heavily in a dangerous situation, PRE-SAFE activates certain systems as a precaution to prepare the vehicle and its occupants for an impending accident. Accordingly the passive safety phase does not begin when the impact has already occurred, but before an impending collision.  If the impact is avoided PRE-SAFE re-sets itself.

The Intelligent Light System developed by Mercedes Benz is also available in this vehicle class as an option for the first time. Powerful bi-xenon headlamps are automatically adapted to the driving situation, illuminating a wider area when driving on country roads and improving long range visibility on motorways, for example.  The system also includes enhanced front fog lamps, as well as the cornering light function and Active Light System, which enables the headlamps to follow steering input for better visibility.  This is another important contribution by Mercedes Benz to safer driving in poor visibility.

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

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