Saturday, December 25, 2010

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gets new four-cylinder model, refreshed styling


01 2012 mercedes benz c class630opt 450x280 2012 Mercedes Benz C Class gets new four cylinder model, refreshed styling
Look very closely – this is the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which gets a very modest facelift for the new model year. Good thing, then, that the majority of changes made to the C-Class are found underhood, where Mercedes-Benz is offering an all-new four-cylinder engine option here in the United States (as well as a new model designation – C250), not to mention some tweaks for the V6 found in the top-end C350.
Design tweaks are limited to a new aluminum hood with slightly restyled headlamps and LED running lamps down below. Yes, it looks extremely similar to the 2011 model, but if we’re honest, the current C-Class design isn’t exactly growing old. In fact, we rather like it as-is. The styling upgrades to the rear end are hardly noticeable, and that’s just fine, too.
Four-cylinder powerplants are quickly replacing six-cylinder mills these days, even in the entry-level luxury segment. You’ll remember that just a few years ago, Audi discontinued the 3.2-liter V6 in its A4, leaving only the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine on tap. Based on preliminary specifications, the new direct-injected 1.8-liter turbocharged mill looks to be plenty potent, with 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque on hand. That’s 27 less horsepower than the mid-range 3.0-liter V6, but the 1.8T offers eight more pound-feet of twist. Thus, both the C250 and the mid-range C300 4Matic will do the 0-60 sprint in 7.1 seconds, but the C250 returns 24 miles per gallon (combined) while the C300 nets just 20 mpg. The range-topping C350 also gets some help from direct injection, meaning its 3.5-liter V6 now produces 302 hp and 273 lb-ft, gains of 34 hp and 15 lb-ft over the outgoing model.
In addition to new engines, the 2012 C-Class benefits from a restyled interior, mimicking what we’ve grown accustomed to in the E-Class. New driver assistance systems like Attention Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Parktronic help keep things in check out on the road.
The 2012 C-Class will make its official debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month with the cars going on sale in the United States next summer. (Full Disclosure: This information was under embargo, but a few other websites decided to spill the beans a bit early). Follow the jump for Mercedes-Benz’s official press release.


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