Mercedes-Benz C-Class Offers Sport Or Luxury Persona

2010 C-Class Boasts New Options and Choice of V6 or V8 Power

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class features four models – the 451-hp C63 AMG, the 268-hp C350 Sport and the 228-hp C300 Luxury and C300 Sport. All 2010 C-Class models now come standard with a new monitoring system showing individual tire pressures, more aerodynamic outside mirrors and a steering wheel covered in premium leather. In addition, the C300 Sport is equipped with new standard 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels.

New Optional Dynamic Handling Package

Heading up a list of new options is a Dynamic Handling Package for Sport models (except 4MATIC versions) that includes active damping suspension; faster, speed-sensitive steering and 18-inch, five-twin-spoke AMG alloy wheels. On cars with automatic transmission, this package also comes with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. The active damping system uses wheel travel sensors and an electronic control unit to provide continuous shock absorber damping adjustment based on both road conditions and driving style.

All C-Class models boast Agility Control, which provides the benefits of both soft and stiff shock absorbers. Each twin-tube shock absorber is fitted with a hydraulic by-pass piston that acts like a very soft shock absorber to effectively dampen road noise and tire vibration. However, over bumpy or uneven roads, the by-pass piston is out of the picture, which preserves the outstanding steering and handling response of a stiffer shock absorber.

All C-Class sedans come with a "Sport/Comfort" button, and in the Sport mode, understeer and body lean are reduced. In addition, throttle response is faster, steering feel is increased and transmission shift points are higher. In the Comfort mode, shift points are lower, and the vehicle starts off in second gear. On Sport models with the optional Dynamic Handling Package, the Sport/Comfort button includes a third "Manual" mode for faster, more aggressive shifting.

For the first time on the C-Class, the convenient Keyless-Go system is also available. With the key still in a pocket or purse, the doors can be unlocked, and the car starts at the push of a button. Other new C-Class options include a rear-view camera, four-way power lumbar adjustment, a tilting side mirror for parking and a universal media interface.

Distinctive Sport Models

While Luxury models wear the iconic three-pointed star perched on top of the front hood, the C-Class Sport can be identified by a bold star in the front grille – a position usually reserved for its coupes and convertibles. C-Class Sport models also come with AMG design cues – deeper front and rear aprons as well as sculpted rocker panels.

The Sport features staggered-width, five-spoke 17-inch wheels; sport shocks; springs and stabilizer bars that provide a crisper ride and more than a half-inch lower ride height. Instead of the Luxury model's traditional four-spoke wheel and burl walnut trim, Sport models come with three-spoke steering wheels and a choice of aluminum, burl walnut or black birds eye maple interior trim. The C300 Sport features a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission.

V8 Power for the C63 AMG

The C63 AMG is distinguished by its 451-horsepower V8 engine, unique AMG body styling, 18-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension and a high-performance brake system – all designed by AMG. The C63 AMG can be easily identified by a special front hood with two power domes and a muscular front apron with large air intakes and side air outlets as well as fog lights ringed in chrome.

A "6.3 AMG" badge marks each front fender, and contoured side sill skirts carry the aggressive lines of the front end to the rear, while an AMG rear apron with a black air diffuser insert and three diffuser fins help enhance aerodynamic performance at high speeds. An AMG lip spoiler on the trunk lid and a pair of twin tailpipes completes the exclusive look and sound of this special model.

Inside the C63 AMG, drivers are greeted by AMG sport seats with integral head restraints finished in a special cross piping and an AMG three-spoke sport steering wheel with distinctive aluminum shift paddles. The unique "tubular" AMG instrument cluster was developed specifically for the C63 AMG with redesigned analog gauges and red needles. An AMG menu in the central display includes special "Warmup," "Setup," and "Race" modes that can be viewed via the multi-function buttons on the steering wheel. "Warmup" displays engine oil and coolant temperatures, while "Setup" shows the current ESP and transmission shift modes, and for owners who enjoy adjusting their vehicles to even higher limits, "Race" activates a timer that allows the driver to measure lap times.

The First Engine Developed Totally by AMG

The C63 AMG is powered by the first engine developed entirely by AMG – a 6.3-liter V8 that produces 451 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque, for breathtaking acceleration times of 4.3 seconds from zero to 60 mph. Built almost completely from a high-strength silicon-aluminum alloy, the AMG 6.3-liter features four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, bucket tappets (rather than rocker arms) and a variable intake manifold. The cylinder bores feature a twin-wire-arc-sprayed (TWAS) coating, an innovative process that results in impressively low friction and running surfaces that are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinders.

AMG engineers designed the 6.3-liter engine block with an especially rigid bedplate acting as the overall support for the main bearings, cast-in steel reinforcements and a sturdy closed-deck layout in the cylinder head area. The high-flow intake and exhaust ports form a vertical straight line, helping the 6.3 AMG engine rev freely to over 7,000 rpm, yet the highly flexible AMG engine still produces nearly 90 percent of its peak torque at only 2,000 rpm.

Power is transmitted to the rear wheels of the C63 AMG through a seven-speed AMG Speedshift Plus automatic transmission that can be shifted manually by either a conventional lever or Formula-1 style shift paddles on the AMG sport steering wheel. To give performance-minded drivers total control of shifting, the manual mode of the transmission doesn't intervene to cause any automatic upshifts – even at max engine speed – or automatic downshifts, even under full load. AG Speedshift Plus provides 35 percent faster gear shifts and torque converter lockup from 1st gear.

The C63 AMG is the first AMG car with an automatic rev-matching feature during downshifts. This virtually jolt-free downshifting process reduces load-change handling response, and for motorsports-minded drivers, improves braking in advance of turn-in. The C63 AMG is also the first AMG model with a three-stage ESP system. In addition to its normal "ESP ON" operation, the ESP button on the center console has an "ESP SPORT" mode as well as "ESP OFF." The ESP Sport mode allows for more aggressive driving with higher drift angles, which can make sporty driving more fun, not to mention more helpful on the race track.

Mechanically, the C63 AMG chassis features a redesigned front suspension including stiffer shocks and springs all around, with special rebound buffer springs in the front shocks, as well as new bearings, a stiffer stabilizer bar and 1.4-inch wider track. Its speed-sensitive rack-and pinion steering feels even faster than its 13.6:1 ratio, thanks to a modified steering axis and a stiffer insulating disc in the steering column.

At the rear, the multi-link suspension has been re-engineered, plus track is a half inch wider with increased negative camber for improved cornering. To handle the increased power of the AMG V8, stronger halfshafts and driveshaft joints are installed. Staggered-width 18-inch wheels (8.5 inches in front, 9.0 at the rear) make room for large AMG vented and perforated four-wheel disc brakes. Front discs measure 14.2 inches in diameter with six-piston fixed calipers, and at the rear, ample 13-inch discs with four-piston fixed calipers are used.

For owners who are serious about competing on the race track, an optional AMG Performance Package for the C63 AMG includes a limited-slip differential, even stiffer suspension, two-piece perforated and ventilated front disc brakes and an AMG performance steering wheel wrapped in premium leather with Alcantara at the side grips.

Optional 4MATIC Four-Wheel Drive

As modern all-wheel-drive systems become even more refined, they are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the luxury car market. With negligible weight and fuel-mileage tradeoffs, full-time four-wheel drive provides year-round traction and stability benefits on both wet and dry roads.

After making its debut on the new S-Class sedan, the latest version of the Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system is optionally available on the C300 Sport and the C300 Luxury models. The 4MATIC system features a full-time all-wheel-drive system that's cleanly integrated into the seven-speed automatic transmission and fits right into the standard body, utilizing the existing front suspension (gone are the special suspension parts and wider transmission tunnel that were necessary on earlier 4MATICs).

The extra gears and shafts that drive the front wheels now weigh only 145 pounds more than the rear-wheel-drive model. Fuel efficiency has been improved, due to a number of innovative measures that minimize the energy needed to turn the extra hardware.

A High-Performance Instrument Cluster

C-Class standard equipment includes a power sunroof, eight-way power front seats with lumbar support, two-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and a central controller with a five-inch display screen. A display in the center of the speedometer is linked to a 12-button multi-function steering wheel that can call up a variety of helpful information. The display can show phone and audio system information such as radio station, CD track or iPod playlist as well as range, fuel mileage and oil temperature. If the car has the optional navigation system, the display will also show next-turn directions.

A Versatile Audio System

The C-Class COMAND system operates an eight-speaker audio system, which includes an "aux" connector for iPod-type devices and a Bluetooth interface that allows a phone still in a pocket or purse to be operated through the audio system.

An optional Multimedia Package can play tracks stored on a data CD, DVD or memory card, and the audio system can be fitted with an optional six-disc, in-dash CD changer. The C-Class includes a MusicRegister feature, which enables CD "ripping" (saving) to a six-gigabyte hard drive that can store up to 1,500 tracks from an audio CD. A Gracenote database automatically identifies each track with its title, artist, album name and other information.

No Need to Ask for Directions

When the car is equipped with the optional COMAND navigation system, a power-operated seven-inch display screen slides out and up when the flip-up cover is raised. The navigation system stores with maps for all of North America on a 40-gigabyte hard drive. In addition to the map display, next-turn navigation instructions can also be shown in the instrument cluster central display.

Renowned Mercedes-Benz Safety

The 2010 C-Class comes with all the safety features expected from Mercedes-Benz – from four-wheel disc brakes and ABS anti-lock brakes to traction control and ESP stability control. A new knee air bag for the driver minimizes leg injuries in frontal collisions, while pelvic air bags work with the curtain and side air bags to provide extra protection for front passengers in dangerous side-impact collisions. With the driver's knee air bag and pelvic air bags in front, the C-Class now boasts nine supplemental restraints.