New York Auto Show Preview: 2008 Mercedes C-Class

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

We'll be seeing the new and slightly bigger C-Class in person this week in the Javits Convention Center at the New York Auto Show. What Mercedes is telling us so far is that it'll be launched in the fall with three V6-powered models — a C350 Sport, the C300 Luxury and the C300 Sport. The C300 Sport and Luxe models will be available with the all-new 4MATIC AWD system and a seven-speed tranny. The C-Class Sport models, which Mercedes is calling "AMG-inspired" (right, inspired, but not "tuned by"), will get some AMG cladding, sport shocks, springs and stabilizer bars mated to a lower ride height. And umm, yeah, we think that's it — full press release below the jump for your perusal. At the very least it now looks like there's a brand new C-Class for Kate Moss to be pushing out of the mud on this side of the pond.

Next-Generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class Makes U.S. Debut

New Sport and Luxury Models Unveiled at New York Auto Show

NEW YORK - The fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan is making its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show, open to the public April 6-15, 2007 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The next-generation 2008 C-Class sedan is slightly larger than its highly successful predecessor, with a greater emphasis on agility, comfort and safety.

With a nod to the recently introduced S-Class sedan, the look of the new mid-size C-Class reveals the latest Mercedes design idiom that's characterized by an edgy interplay of taut lines and wide, rounded surfaces. Revised suspension and steering help make the new C-Class noticeably more agile, along with a new slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission for the C300 Sport model.

V6 Power With a Sport or Luxury Personality

In the U.S. market, the new C-Class will be launched this fall with three V6-powered models - the C350 Sport, the C300 Luxury and the C300 Sport. In addition, the C300 Sport and Luxury models will be available with an all new 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system mated to a seven-speed transmission. New standard equipment includes a power sunroof, eight-way power front seats with lumbar support, two-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and a central controller with a seven-inch display screen.

Distinctive Sport Models

The AMG-inspired C-Class Sport models can be identified by the iconic three-pointed star in the front grille, a design cue usually reserved for its coupes and convertibles. In addition to the grille-mounted star, the new C-Class Sport models come with AMG cladding - deeper front and rear aprons as well as under-door rocker panels - and twin-spoke 17-inch wheels of staggered width. The car also features 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 either aluminum (C300) or black Birdseye maple (C350) interior trim.

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-efficiency tradeoffs, full-time four-wheel-drive systems provide year-round traction and stability benefits on both wet and dry roads.

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

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.

More Space, More Comfort, More Cargo

More space means more comfort. With a body that's 3.7 inches longer and 1.7 inches wider than the previous model, the new C-Class boasts a noticeably roomier cabin in both the front and rear seating areas, and an increased wheelbase of 1.8 inches. The new car has more luggage room, too - according to the VDA measuring method, the trunk capacity is now 16.8 cubic feet - four percent more than the outgoing model.

A High-Performance Instrument Cluster

A new instrument cluster features three analog gauges that show engine speed, road speed, fuel level and coolant temperature. In addition, 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 including range, oil level, phone and audio system information such as radio station or CD track or iPod playlist (if equipped with optional iPod integration kit). If the car is equipped with the optional navigation system, this display will also show next-turn directions.

A standard-equipment Bluetooth feature allows a phone that's still in a pocket or purse to be operated through the audio system.

Electronic Controller Replaces Scores of Buttons

Similar to the popular system launched on the S-Class sedan, an electronic controller on the console works like a computer mouse to provide easy, quick operation of many functions that used to require scores of separate buttons and switches.

By turning and pressing the aluminum controller, menus and sub-menus on the center-console display are displayed and selected for the audio system as well as the optional navigation system and integrated phone. The controller is also linked to the rocker switches on the multifunction steering wheel.

A Choice of Audio Systems

Standard equipment in the new C-Class is an eight-speaker, 100-watt Audio 20 system that includes a single-slot dash CD/MP3 player, telephone keypad, an MP3 plug in the glove box and a Bluetooth interface. Optionally available is a 450-watt harman/kardon LOGIC7 audio system featuring Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 surround sound. The LOGIC7 system comes with 12 speakers, including two surround-sound speakers and a sub-woofer.

The new C-Class includes a MusicRegister feature as part of the Multimedia package, which enables CD "ripping" (saving) to a four-gigabyte hard drive that can store up to 1,000 tracks from audio CD's. A Gracenote database automatically identifies each track with its title, artist, album name and other information. The audio system can also play tracks stored on a data CD, DVD or memory card.

No Need to Ask for Directions with COMAND Navigation

A five-inch color display nestled under a flip-up cover at the top of the center console is standard equipment on the new C-Class. 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 uses a hard drive with map data covering all of North America. In addition to the high-resolution map display at the top of the center console, next-turn navigation instructions can also be shown in the instrument cluster central display.

Renowned Mercedes-Benz Safety

The 2008 C-Class comes with all the safety features that people have come to expect from Mercedes-Benz - from four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes to six air bags, ABS anti-lock, traction control and ESP stability control. In addition, active front head restraints move forward nearly two inches and upward by about an inch in the event of a severe rear collision, helping to support the head and reduce the likelihood of whiplash injuries.

About Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA, headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. In 2006, MBUSA achieved an all-time sales record of 248,080 new vehicles, setting the highest sales volume ever in its history and achieving 13 consecutive years of sales growth. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found on the Internet at and

* * *

Spy Photos: Mercedes C-Class Sport Coupe; I'm Your Pusher Woman: Kate Moss Gets Dirty, Pushes C-Class Out Of Mud [internal]