New Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan gets horsepower, more self-driving prowess

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Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling model worldwide, the C-Class compact sedan, is getting an update that will add more power and automated driver safety systems.

It will bring the brand a step closer to self-driving capability, using a system imilar to the one found in the larger E-Class.

The new C-Class, which will get its premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, also has a redesigned front end, with a change in the look of its bumpers, LED headlights and taillights.

While buyers have moved to a preference for SUVs, the C-Class remains a top priority for the German luxury brand with sales numbers too big to ignore. Mercedes said it sold 415,000 of them in 2017.

The new 2019 version will go on sale in the U.S. in late in the year, Mercedes said.

The new C-Class will be powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 255 horsepower, 14 more than the 241 horsepower in the outgoing model. It will come with a nine-speed automatic transmission, which has become increasingly popular in the industry to save gas.

 

Inside, the new multifunction leather steering wheel will have buttons that work with swiping motions like on the screen of a smartphone. The buttons are intended to allow the driver to control functions both on the instrument panel and infotainment system while keeping their hands on the wheel.

There’s also a touchpad in the center console for controlling the infotainment system. If that isn’t enough, it also works by voice command. 

Using cameras and radar that see as far as 1,640 feet ahead, the C-Class will be able to drive mostly by itself in some situations. It also has a lane-keeping system and can automatically slam on the brakes if it detects a crash is about to occur.

C-Class is made at four plants around the world, including Mercedes’ U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
 

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