2012 Mercedes C-Class facelift revealed [video]

Debuts in Detroit

Just in time for Christmas, the 2011 Mercedes C-Class has leaked to the web ahead of its debut at North American International Auto Show.

Destined to recapture the entry-level luxury spotlight, the updated model features a new front fascia, an aluminum hood, and restyled headlights. Out back, changes are relatively minor but include a revised bumper and LED tail lights.

While the exterior tweaks are somewhat questionable, the interior has been completely revamped to mimic the E-Class. Notable changes include a new dashboard, a revised steering wheel (from the CLS), updated controls, and a redesigned instrument cluster. Furthermore, thanks to a generous helping of aluminum (or wood) trim, the cabin no longer is a sea of black plastic.

In the tech department, there are five new driver assistance options (Attention Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Park Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Blind Spot Assist) and an updated COMAND system.

Under the hood, three engines will be available in the United States. The big news is the addition of a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 201 hp (204 PS / 150kW) and 229 lb-ft (310 Nm) of torque. It enables the sedan to accelerate from 0-60 mpg in 7.1 seconds and return a combined 24 mpg.  Alternatively, the C350 adopts the new 3.5-liter V6 which churns out 302 hp (225 kW / 306 PS) and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque.

The facelifted C-Class will be launched in Europe next month and US sales are scheduled for the summer.

Check out the press release for additional information

Source: Mercedes

New look for Mercedes' top-selling sedan this summer
The restyled MY2012 C-Class

  • Energetic - new dynamic look inside and out
  • Expanded - five new assistance systems for greater safety
  • Efficient - new direct-injection engines with better fuel economy
  • Experience - new-generation telematics
  • Exceptional - more than one million sold since March 2007

The restyled 2012 C-Class sedan is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. in the summer of 2011. The front and rear end of the popular Mercedes sedan have been enhanced with a more distinctive design. The luxurious interior is now emphasized by the stylish new dashboard, which features a premium, fine-grain finish and stylish trim elements, as well as a high-resolution color display in the instrument cluster. Fuel economy has been improved by as much as 15 percent, thanks to new direct-injection engines and the redesigned 7-speed automatic transmission. Five new driver assistance systems ranging from the ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system through to the Blind Spot Assist are now available in the C-Class lineup. New generation telematics offer new infotainment and navigation features.

"In terms of driveline and safety systems, the new-generation C-Class offers the comfort and safety of our luxury vehicles - and with many high-end details in the interior evocative of the new CLS, the new C-Class sets completely new benchmarks in its segment when it comes to premium look-and-feel," says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. This interior upgrade is further enhanced by the latest generation of telematics, which not only features completely new visuals, but also brings improved functionality.

A total of more than 2,000 new parts distinguish the newest generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from its predecessor. The U.S. market introduction is scheduled for summer 2011 (available to order in Europe as of January 2011). Alongside the generous standard equipment, the Sport and Luxury versions of the new C-Class form the basis of the individualization program, with both lines now more clearly differentiated from each other.

The C-Class is Mercedes-Benz's highest volume model range, and therefore especially important. The current range has chalked up global sales of more than one million units since its launch in March 2007. Since the market introduction of the first C-Class in 1982 (known then as the 190), Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 8.5 million vehicles around the world.

Dynamic, determined and confident exterior

The bumper now has a more distinctive and dynamic design, with the front end adopting the brand's new design language. The central element of the front end is the grille, which is further enhanced by the new bumper design. The center air intake opens upward in a v-shape and forms the core element of the grille design. Distinctive lines emerge from the base of the aggressive arrow design in the center. Running beneath the headlamps, these character lines transition into the side profile. The outboard air intakes in the bumper are positioned very low down to give the car a more muscular stance.

The C-Class features a new aluminum hood, which contributes to weight reduction and consequently to improved fuel efficiency. Contours around the headlamps and grille bring additional emphasis to the front-end arrow form. Working together with the redesigned headlamps, the overall front-end look is far more distinctive.

Modified clear glass headlamps create a more dynamic and determined look and, together with the hood, grille and bumper enhance the arrow visual at the front end. This precise, contemporary look is reinforced by the design of both the exterior and interior of the headlamp units, which feature a finely balanced interplay between matte and gloss surfaces. The halogen headlamps follow the classic format with low beam located on the outside and high beam in the inside, while the indicator lamps are discreetly positioned in the outer corners toward the fenders.

The available bi-xenon headlamps come with active functions and bring added depth to the appearance with a series of LED modules. A C-shaped positioning light defines the nighttime design, with cornering lights located behind it and stretching outward to the main lamp module. At the base of the headlamps are broad horizontal LED indicator units. Also horizontal are the LED daytime running lights located in the bumper, which make the C-Class unmistakable from a distance.

On the rear bumper, the character lines and shutlines have been modified to add emphasis to the vehicle's stance. This is especially evident in the steep rise of the character line running outward toward the rear lights. A continuous character line on the upper edge of the rear bumper runs into the fenders of the C-Class to provide a connection to the sides and emphasizes the sporty character of the rear view. A new one-piece jewel case on the tail lights provides further integration into the rear of the vehicle. The characteristic sinuous surface line is now reflected on the inside of the lights and is reminiscent of earlier models. The distinctive depth of the lights are achieved by LED indicators located in the center that appear to float in front of the more deeply set red LED bands above and below. The rear light pattern is particularly distinctive at night.

The bodyshell of the new C-Class is distinguished by its outstanding aerodynamics. With a cd figure of 0.26, not only is it best-in-class, its drag plane of cd x A = 0.57 m2 also cuts more smoothly through the air than most compact and even sub-compact cars.

Premium and sporty interior

One focal point of the work done in the interior was the redesign of the dashboard with the aim of creating a powerful, sporty and premium look-and-feel that includes extensive enhancement to the trim. The surfaces of the controls are more finely detailed and feature a metallic finish. The stepped hood of the instrument binnacle now extends to incorporate the central display and runs onward into the passenger side enhanced by a subtle character line. The central, trapezoidal air vents and the outer circular vents are accentuated with metallic trim elements. Central to the design of the new dashboard is a prominent trim panel. This element stretches from the central air vents along the passenger side to the outer air vent, adding visual width to the interior. The surface grain on the top portion of the dashboard continues along the upper edges of the door panels.

The new-generation center console is distinguished by its rectangular silver keys and emphasizes the premium feel of the interior in combination with matte keys, high-gloss surfaces and a new knurled control knob. Together with the new generation telematics, the restyled C-Class also receives a new instrument binnacle with integrated display. Oriented toward the driver are three tubular gauge surrounds with metallic surfaces that further enhance the aggressive character of the C-Class.

The luxury feel is emphasized by the new-generation leather steering wheel introduced with the all-new CLS and now available as standard in the C-Class. The steering wheel features a chrome-plated central spoke and further accentuates the car's stylish and sporty ambience.

The new C250 Sport and C300 4MATIC Sport models come with standard brushed aluminum trim, while the C350 Sport has distinctive Black Ash. The Luxury versions feature Burl Walnut trim.

Drivelines with more power and better fuel economy

Fuel economy has been improved by up to 15 percent. All new direct-injection versions feature exceptional efficiency and environmentally-friendly fuel consumption. All models also come with the redesigned seven-speed automatic transmission, with the gear ratios on all versions optimized for fuel economy.

The highlight in the engine lineup is the introduction of the new V6 gasoline engine in the C350 Sport Sedan, featuring the innovative and highly efficient BlueDIRECT process. The improvement in efficiency is combined with a considerable increase in output. The C350 Sport Sedan now generates 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque (previously 268 hp and 258 lb-ft), while fuel economy has been improved by 5 percent compared with the outgoing C350 model.

The four-cylinder engine (new for the U.S. market) features direct injection and turbocharging and is also distinguished by outstanding combined fuel economy of 24 mpg. This marks an improvement of nearly 15 percent compared with the 2011MY C300.

New driver assistance systems

The C-Class attains an all-new level of safety with a total of five new driver assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection through to Blind Spot Assist. The assistance systems are based on state-of-the-art radar, camera and sensor technology and are setup to react to frequent causes of accidents such as proximity to the vehicle in front, fatigue and darkness.

The following provides an overview of the new assistance systems:

  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
  • Park Assist incl. PARKTRONIC
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist

More user friendly, improved connectivity - the new generation of telematics

The new C-Class sees the debut of a new generation of telematics, which is scheduled for successive introduction across further model ranges. Key new features include improved user-friendliness with larger 3-D displays, phone book transfer, text message display, wireless music via Bluetooth and a USB interface now located in the center armrest.

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Comments (28)

pismeov pismeov
i don't know if anyone else here have noticed, but the 16th picture from the top left is the interior of the upcoming c-coupe. notice how the door panel is completely different from the other pictures and that there are only TWO window switches on it. also, it has the e-coupe's seat. this also means that the c-coupe will not have rear windows that roll down....
Dec 24th, 2010 8:19am
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joshg_5 joshg_5
Definitely a great improvement, but it looks a lot like the current gen Subaru Legacy link
Dec 24th, 2010 6:25am
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GTurbo GTurbo
Merc has driven the quality mark up a notch in the new C-class saloon and Tourer! Ultra-desirable.
Dec 24th, 2010 4:04am
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Ratt Ratt
Don't like it, headlights to be honest, facelift is not always good, example is 3 series coupe facelift.
Dec 24th, 2010 12:19am
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jerry05cod4 jerry05cod4
front end has been downgraded but i can live with that because the interior is a great improvement
Dec 23rd, 2010 11:00pm
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The interior looks a lot better.
Dec 23rd, 2010 10:55pm
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Front reminds me 2008 SL. Ugly, very ugly
Dec 23rd, 2010 10:41pm
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Nice job, can't wait for the AMG version
Dec 23rd, 2010 8:40pm
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thank you mercedes for ruining the front end of one of my favorite cars in your lineup.
Dec 23rd, 2010 8:19pm
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Mister Stig Mister Stig
Dec 23rd, 2010 9:15pm
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coopergt coopergt
bring the wagon to the usa please
Dec 23rd, 2010 8:19pm
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yozunltd yozunltd
The interior is a vast improvement . Would definitely buy it .
Dec 23rd, 2010 8:09pm
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Rotaermel Rotaermel
I really like this facelift. Didn't expect that because I disliked the FL of the S-class very much.
Dec 23rd, 2010 7:53pm
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ken897 ken897
head lights very much similar to 2010 skoda laura(octavia) in india.........
Dec 23rd, 2010 6:36pm
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Sacto8780 Sacto8780
The front end of the revised C-Class reminds me a LOT of the GLK crossover SUV.
Dec 23rd, 2010 4:58pm
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alessandro alessandro
I like that car now. I'm ready to buy one. Santa... please!
Dec 23rd, 2010 4:45pm
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Johnluke Johnluke
Looks very classy and i am glad Mercedes has got its styling buttoned down,interior especially looks good for the baby benz and the materials look 1st class.Now please MB make a AMG E class coupe.
Dec 23rd, 2010 4:34pm
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FoxAlfa FoxAlfa
O why did they do this? Why do manufactures try to have an uniform look across the board...The C-class had a very nice identity of its own...now with this facelift and grill all its says its:"I wanted a E-class but couldn't afford one!"
Dec 23rd, 2010 4:27pm
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BrianWCF BrianWCF
55 high-res photos and video added to article
Dec 23rd, 2010 2:21pm
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DetroitSammy DetroitSammy
Agree! Put this interior into the "old" model and here I am! Ok, to be honest, other German brands would sell this facelift as a all new successor model.
Dec 23rd, 2010 1:37pm
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tra-ta-ta tra-ta-ta
yep.. for example.. let`s say.. Audi!
Dec 23rd, 2010 4:13pm
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justanotherfan justanotherfan
Great improvement in the interior, recent buyers will regret it a bit, likes the old frontlights and fascia better though.
Dec 23rd, 2010 1:27pm
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wjaprep wjaprep
Lol. We recently got a C300 luxury (USA) but the only thing I really like on the new ones are the DRLs and the interior
Dec 24th, 2010 1:25am
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Speedoholic Speedoholic
That is one hot car..
Dec 23rd, 2010 1:22pm
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