Many automakers are turning to social media to ‘leak out’ elements of a forthcoming new model. This was the case with Mercedes-Benz, which published a series of interior photographs of the new C-Class on its Google+ page last month, then added a few more today before issuing a press release on its media site.
As the volume seller in the range, Mercedes has wisely decided to inject more flair into the C-Class cabin, which is more luxurious than the A-Class and recently launched CLA. The C-Class interior looks to have shed the stodgy angles of its predecessor in a move towards more sculpted surfacing, as seen on the center stack and its more relaxed rake, which flows into the center console.
Mercedes has opted to include a 7-inch standalone center mounted screen for the navigation system — as on the A-Class — rather than integrating it into the IP, which has given designers more freedom with the volumes and reduces visual height. The number of buttons in the interior has also been reduced, though 12 still appear on the steering wheel.
The C-Class interior eschews the A-Class’s boy-racer accouterments in favor of a more elegant look, which is reflected in the simpler air vents and separated center stack controls. The materials are also a nod toward sophistication, with galvanized metal finishes on the doors and stitching on the upper section of the leather IP, while a chrome element underscores the center console and its recessed ambient lighting.
Technology has also been ramped up, with the addition of a new touchpad for the Command unit. All of the head-unit functions can be operated using finger gestures – as with a smartphone – while the 65x45mm touchpad provides haptic feedback to the user. A new LED head-up display projects information on speed, speed limits, navigation instructions and messages from driver assistance systems into the driver’s field of vision, where it appears to float around two meters away above the hood.
The new C-Class is expected to make its debut at the 2014 NAIAS in January.
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