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Mercedes–Benz has unveiled the 2018 C-Class refresh, with more technology and a slightly tweaked exterior.
The changes start outside, where the (now four year-old) exterior has been reworked with new headlights and tail-lights. AMG Line cars now come with a diamond grille, and the front bumper is more aggressive than before.
Depending on which trim line you buy, the nose comes with a silver, chrome or triple-chrome garnish up front. Down back, the taillights have a new light-signature shape, but the changes are minimal.
Behind the wheel, Mercedes has added the digital infotainment and driver displays from the S-Class to the mix, although the existing C-Class dashboard architecture means it lacks the same seamless widescreen look.
With the right options boxes ticked, the car has a 12.3-inch driver display and a 10.25-inch central infotainment screen – expect analogue dials and the smaller 7.0-inch COMAND screen to come standard on lower-spec cars. Unfortunately, the new MBUX infotainment system won’t be making an appearance in the C-Class.
The latest Mercedes-Benz steering wheel has also been fitted, complete with touch-sensitive controls. Cruise control is now managed using buttons on the wheel, marking a departure from the column-stalk controls of past Benzes.
Along with the digital instruments, Mercedes has grabbed some of the latest safety features and semi-autonomous driver assists from the S-Class and put them in the smaller C.
The company will be offering its Multibeam LED headlamps on the car, with 84 individual LED units capable of independently illuminating. The system can create dark spots around oncoming vehicles, essentially moulding the high beam to avoid dazzling other cars, while still offering the best possible illumination.
Mercedes-Benz is staying tight-lipped on local specification, but expect to see the system as an option on top-spec cars. Halogen units with LED daytime running lights will likely carry over as the entry-level lighting option.
Semi-autonomous driver assists borrowed from the E– and S-Class mean the car can use navigation information to adjust the car’s speed on the way up to corners, intersections or roundabouts, while lane-change assist will also be part of the Driver Assistance package.
As for powertrains? Er, good question. Mercedes hasn’t provided any information about what will power the car. The C-Class is currently offered with five different powertrains (not including the 43 and 63AMG) ranging from the C200 (135kW/300Nm) to the C350e (155kW/350Nm) hybrid.
We’d bank on mild power and efficiency increases across the range, along with the potential introduction of an 48V ‘EQ Boost’ mild hybrid powertrain.
The C-Class refresh will be here in Q3, 2018. Pricing and specifications will be confirmed closer to launch.
In the meantime, the car will be revealed in full at the Geneva motor show next month.
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