KENNEBUNKPORT, ME – Mercedes-Benz announced that its new C-Class sedans have arrived in the U.S. and offer a number of new features for the 2012 model-year. The sedan is available in three models: the C250, which is powered by a new direct-injection, turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder engine (201 horsepower, 229 lb.-ft. of torque); the C350 Sport, with a new direct-injection 3.5L V-6 (302 hp, 273 lb.-ft.); and the C63 AMG, with a normally aspirated 6.3L V8 (451 hp, 443 lb.- ft.) and AMG's MCT multi-clutch transmission.

All 2012 C-Class models, save for the C63 AMG with its high-performance MCT transmission, feature a new seven-speed automatic transmission. The new transmission features a more advanced torque converter lock-up clutch that provides better fuel economy, more responsive driving, quieter operation, and increased durability, according to Mercedes.

Mercedes said the new sedan has undergone a “major restyling” that involves more than 2,000 new parts. Exterior changes include new bumpers, headlights, a new front grille, a new aluminum hood, and LED taillights. Next, the automaker redesigned the interior, which features new color gauges, a new 5.8-inch display, and next-generation telematics.

In addition, the C-Class sedan is available as a C300, with standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the 3.0L V-6 engine (228 hp, 221 lb.-ft.). The C250 and C300 sedans are available in a choice of Luxury or Sport trim. Sport models feature 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; and standard AMG styling, including deeper front and rear aprons as well as sculpted rocker panels.

Inside, Sport models are equipped with a three-spoke steering wheel and metallic trim, while Luxury models come with a four-spoke steering wheel and burl walnut trim. In addition to the standard body styling, Luxury models have equal-width tires, front and rear.

When it comes to infotainment, all C-Class models for 2012 are equipped with a new 5.8-inch color display located at the top of the console. The new head unit includes a Bluetooth interface for wireless audio streaming and hands-free phone operation, an FM phase-diversity twin tuner, HD/AM/ weatherband radio, an MP3-compatible CD drive, and a USB port in the center console, according to Mercedes.

Other features include new standard equipment and five new safety systems. The following items are standard equipment. Attention Assist warns drivers when they get drowsy. Between 50 and 112 mph, the system identifies any erratic steering corrections drivers make as they begin to get drowsy and triggers an audible warning, and a "Time for a Rest?" message on the instrument cluster.

A new HOLD feature for the Adaptive Brake system allows a driver to take their foot off the brake pedal at a stop. Optional Blind Spot Assist warns the driver when he or she activates a turn signal and there is a car in a blind spot. Lane Keeping Assist alerts drivers if the car drifts from its lane without the turn signals on. The PARKTRONIC feature now incorporates a parking guidance system that can identify parking spaces that are large enough for the vehicle and provide steering guidance in the instrument cluster.

Another feature is Adaptive Highbeam Assist, which uses a small video camera to sense headlights and taillights, and then transition between high and low beam operation to avoid impairing other drivers’ vision. With this system, the range of the headlights can be varied from 220 feet to up to 1,000 feet.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet