Mercedes-Benz C-Class: the design
The official design information and images of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which celebrated its world premiere in Stuttgart on 18 January 2007.
According to Mercedes, the main design elements that define the exterior style of the new C-Class are the striking front end with its wide, steeply angled radiator grille; the side aspect, with an interplay between surfaces; and lines and the short rear end with its athletic lines.
The sporty aspect of the new C-Class is enhanced by the body proportions, with 55 millimetres more length than the preceding model, as well as the wider track, large wheel arches and prominent wings, which
intentionally appear more tailored to the body contours and therefore arch over
the wheels like the toned muscles of a high-performance athlete.
“In 2005 Mercedes-Benz introduced a new design idiom with a focus on clarity of expression: the
designers were guided by the principles of purism, which were interpreted in keeping with the times.”
“This means concentrating on what is important, i.e.
surfaces and lines, and dispensing with all superfluous embellishments or visual detours.
“Less is more: the dialogue between tautly drawn lines and large, tranquil surfaces is enough to convey the message of effortless superiority and serenity. The new C-Class is a further representative of this design idiom.”
With a length of 4581 millimetres, the Saloon is 55 millimetres longer than its predecessor.
The body width has increased by 42 mm to 1770 millimetres, and the wheelbase by 45 mm to 2760 millimetres.
These dimensions create the conditions for a generously sized interior, and therefore more comfort. The front shoulder room has increased by 40 millimetres, for example.
The design of the new C-Class is based on the modern Mercedes idiom, with taut lines
and large, tranquil surfaces.
The pronounced wedge-shape of the front end serves
to emphasise attributes such as agility and performance.
The youthful appearance
of the C-Class can be enhanced even further with the AMG sports package, which includes striking front and rear aprons plus side skirts.
The “product-in-product” concept enables Mercedes customers to accentuate
individual choices, and configure the C-Class to suit their personal taste and
As with the other models of the Brand, for the C-Class Mercedes-Benz designers focused on the long-term effect of the aesthetic appeal: “even at second, third or fourth sight, the design remains both
multi-facetted and exciting, constantly exhibiting a new magnetism [...].”
The front end plays a major part in defining the characteristics of the car,
specifically with its pronounced arrow shape, which expresses forward energy, agility and performance, and the radiator grille which is flush-fitted into the bonnet and bumper, almost completely filling the space between the headlamps.
Accordingly this styling feature achieves an unmistakable dominance, while its width and steeply angled position lend a muscular, self-assured appearance to the Saloon.
For the first time in a Mercedes saloon, the radiator grille is used as a distinguishing feature to position
the model variants more clearly.
In the Elegance model, for example, a threedimensionally formed radiator grille reflects attributes such as solidity and comfort – but also a touch of luxury.
|C-Class Classic grille||C-Class Avantgarde grille|
On the other side, the Avantgarde line has a visually striking radiator grille with a large, centrally positioned Mercedes star
supported by three horizontally extended, high-gloss trim sections
embellished with chrome: the typical design features of sporty
This radiator grille with its large, centrally located Mercedes star has a more than 50 year-old
The muscular presence of the Saloon is accentuated by the perfectly integrated front bumper with its discreet spoiler lips, the foglamps positioned well to the outside and the wide air intake.
Here too, the different lines have individual
features: in the Classic and Elegance lines the lower air intake is given substance by three black louvres, while the Avantgarde line is distinguished by a black-painted, sporty perforated mesh. As additional “eyecatchers”,
the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE lines feature chrome surrounds on the
foglamps and in the lower section of the bumper covering.
The clear lenses accentuate the sparkling effect of the headlamps in strong sunlight.
If equipped with bi-xenon headlamps, the translucent areas of the cylinders are even larger than with halogen headlamps and characterise the appearance of the Saloon even in the dark.
The flat, upper headlamp covers with their chrome strips follow the contour of the bonnet to the front, right up to the edges of the lenses.
The side view
These elements lend a formal structure to the
side aspect and create a symbolic effect. The shoulderline following the waistline is a visual reference point which suggests power and solidity.
It forms a wide, muscular “shoulder” supporting the side windows, pillars and roof, forming a continuous line from the front to the rear end and stretching
the body while suggesting power.
The wheel arches are filled by 17-inch wheels – standard equipment for the Avantgarde line and the AMG sports package.
At the front this muscular shoulder supports the slim A-pillar, the starting point of the typical Mercedes roofline.
This describes an arc over the bodyshell and defines the line of the C-pillar, then gently dips down to join the rear end. A fine chrome strip along the upper limits of the side window apertures accentuates this arching
The so-called character line below the shoulderline emerges organically from the front wheel arch and rises towards the rear, expressing dynamism and forward energy. At the same time it forms a boundary between the convex and concave door surfaces – between light and shadow.
Door handles painted in the vehicle colour blend into the side aspect, ensuring that the eye is drawn to the more important design features.
The rear end
Below the waistline the character line flows into the horizontal contour of the boot lid, elegantly combining the side and rear end design.
The purpose of these lines is to shorten the rear overhang in visual terms, creating a stylish,
sporty rear end.
As at the front, the rear end is designed to emphasise the width of the body to lend it formal expression. The spoiler lip on the boot lid, which flows into the wings and the character line, the boot handle and the integrated bumper lining are the most important features emphasising this impression of width.
The eye is also drawn to the rear light clusters as islands in this calm surface, pausing briefly before moving on to follow the intriguing interplay of the body lines.