The New-Generation C-Class: The C 55 AMG | Part Four

C 55 AMG: record-breaking performance in this vehicle category

The new C 55 AMG is the first of the current Mercedes Benz C-Class models to feature an eight-cylinder engine and delivers performance on a par with a thoroughbred sports car: the power output of 367 hp and peak torque of 510 Nm are new records in this vehicle category. From a standing start, the new C 55 AMG accelerates to 62.5 mph in just 5.2 seconds. Furthermore, the AMG sports suspension – fitted as standard – and the five-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted gearshift buttons and AMG-SPEEDSHIFT make for a very sporty driving experience.

On the outside, the C 55 AMG is clearly distinguishable from the other C-Class models by virtue of its unique front end which has been extended by around 80 mm in order to accommodate the powerful V8 engine and now incorporates elliptic twin headlamps. Further features which emphasise the high-performance characteristics of the eight-cylinder model include the sporty side skirts, boot lid and rear bumper. Available as a Saloon or an Estate and introduced to replace the outgoing C32 AMG, the new C55 AMG comes complete with 18-inch light-alloy wheels, 225/40 R 18 front tyres, 245/35 R 18 rear tyres, AMG sports seats with Alcantara covers and a distinctly sporty instrument cluster with silver dials.

Technology: premiere for new cornering light system

New innovations that are designed to provide even greater comfort and safety serve to underpin the reputation of the C-Class as a technology trendsetter in this market segment. Notable examples include the powerful bi-xenon headlamps which Mercedes Benz combines with a special cornering light function. For the first time, the cornering light system has been integrated in the fog lamp, thus enabling illumination of a wide area alongside and in front of the car, meaning that pedestrians and cyclists are easier to spot when turning. Visibility on tight bends is also improved with this new system installed.

From summer 2004, the C-Class will feature a further-improved generation of car radios. Among the systems available are the standard radio/CD combination (Audio 20 CD) and two devices with an integral navigation system (Audio 50 APS and COMAND APS). The latter two systems enable Europe-wide navigation on one disc. The top-of-the-range COMAND APS model – which also incorporates DVD navigation, a CD player, large colour display (6.5") and four 50 watt amplifiers – can also be used to send and receive SMS and e-mail messages.

Further new audio features for the C-Class include a 320 watt sound system with Surround Sound and the LINGUATRONIC voice control system, with options for voice-activation of the car phone and numerous other audio functions. Mercedes Benz is the first manufacturer to offer a voice-controlled navigation system in this vehicle category.

Published 2 February 2004 Melanie Carter
 

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