2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon Preview
- Not for sale in the United States
- New for 2008
- Largest load capacity of any premium-class wagon
- Automatic powered tailgate
- C63 AMG model with 457 hp offered
- Classic, Elegance, and Avantgarde models offered
- Longer and wider than the C-Class it replaces
- Nine engine choices, including a V-8
- Unique grille used to differentiate models
- Available 4Matic permanent all-wheel-drive system
- Automatic open/close tailgate
IntroductionFollowing on the heels of the debut of the all-new C-Class Sedan, Mercedes Benz chose the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show to introduce its all-new C-Class Estate (wagon). The C-Class wagon was first introduced in 1993 (riding on the Mercedes-Benz W202 platform), making this, the new model, a third-generation iteration. Larger, wider, and more refined than the model it replaces, the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class wagon offers the largest loading volume-and most diverse range of engine variant and equipment packages-of all premium wagon models in its market segment, according to Mercedes.
Model LineupMercedes-Benz will sell the standard C-Class wagon in three different iterations: Classic, Elegance and Avantgarde. Each version highlights the different sporting or comfort levels of the vehicle. The standard, lightly appointed model is called Classic. The Elegance model, decidedly luxurious with its louvered grille, adds fine wood trim and luxury appointments. The Avantgarde model, decidedly sporty with a prominent Mercedes star in the middle of the grille, adds wider wheels and aluminum roof rails. The 6-cylinder models are not available in the Classic configuration.
Mercedes' Thermatic automatic climate control with dual-zone air conditioning is standard on all wagons, with the COMAND APS (Cockpit Management And Navigation Device), panoramic sliding sunroof, voice control, and the dynamic handing package as just some of the upgrades available at an extra cost. The optional AMG Sport package adds front sport seats, sport pedals, and a three-spoke steering wheel with transmission shift paddles-all without the V-8 engine upgrade. The exterior bodywork is enhanced with AMG-styled front and rear aprons and side skirt panels. An upgraded sport suspension lowers the chassis for better handling and stability, and the light alloy wheels are increased to 17 inches in diameter.
The C63 AMG is the most invigorating performance-oriented version of the C-Class wagons. It shares the same chassis as the standard wagons, but many of the mechanical and cosmetic components have been significantly upgraded to handle the power from the 457-hp V-8 engine. The exterior features an aggressive AMG-style body kit, overd brakes, and special 18- or 19-inch wheels. The interior of the C63 AMG receives many AMG-specific appointments, as well. These include deeply bucketed sport seats, special upholstery, and a unique instrument cluster.
HardwareMany of the powerplant choices on the new C-Class wagon are small-displacement diesel and gasoline engines designed for fuel economy. Standard C-Class models are offered with a choice of three turbo-diesel powerplants (C200 CDI, C220 CDI, and C320 CDI); two 4-cylinder gasoline engines (C180 Kompressor and C200 Kompressor); three V-6 gasoline engines (C230, C280, and C350); and a gasoline-powered V-8 (C63 AMG).Nearly all engine choices, except for the most powerful V-6 and V-8 offerings, are coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission. A 7-speed automatic is standard on the C350. All C-Class wagon models are rear-wheel driven, with Mercedes' permanent all-wheel-drive 4MATIC system available on just the C320 CDI.
The C63 AMG wagon offers the utilitarian auto enthusiast a 4-valve, 6.3-liter V-8 rated at 457 hp. At full throttle, more than 440 lb.-ft. of torque is transferred through the standard AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-TRONIC transmission to the rear wheels, launching the C-Class AMG wagon to 62 mph in a claimed 4.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
SafetyMercedes-Benz boasts that the 2008 C-Class wagon is the safest in its class, with 70 percent of the car's bodyshell constructed from high-strength and ultra-high-strength grades of steel. The front end of the chassis has been designed to distribute crash forces over a wide area, thereby reducing damage to the passenger cell.
Helping to avoid accidents, active safety systems include anti-lock brakes and an Electronic Stability Program (ESP), incorporating tire-pressure monitoring and a trailer stabilization function. Passive safety features include seven standard air bags on every vehicle. These include driver and front-passenger dual-stage front- and side-impact air bags, as well as window curtain air bags protecting the outboard passengers in both the front and rear rows. The seventh air bag is located next to the driver's knees. Additional protection during a crash is offered by the standard Neck-Pro active front head restraints and 3-point belts with emergency tensioning devices and belt force limiters.
Optional safety technology available on the C-Class wagon includes the Intelligent Light System and Pre-Safe�, a Mercedes-designed system that prepares the vehicle and occupants for an imminent collision.
TechnologyThe new C-Class wagon offers three new "infotainment" units shared with the sedan. These include Audio 20, Audio 50 APS, and COMAND APS. All feature a telephone keypad and a Bluetooth� interface. While the Audio 20 utilizes a DVD-based navigation system, the COMAND APS multimedia system stores data on an internal hard drive. The COMAND APS can also store up to 1,000 music tracks internally.
Standard on wagons with the Audio 50 APS or COMAND APS system is Linguatronic voice control. Revised for 2008, the system can now recognize whole-word commands when calling up a destination, radio station, or telephone directory.
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