The German carmaker is ready to introduce two plug-in hybrids to its facelifted C-class line-up as part of plans for an extended range of EQ-Power-badged models. The new EQ-Power system increases the output of the electric motor by 40hp over that used by the existing four-year-old 300h to 122hp.
The two new hybrids’ electric range will extend to more than 30.6km, thanks to the lithium-ion battery capacity rising from 6.4kWh to 13.8kWh. The electrified drivetrains are based around a new hybrid system. It operates in tandem with a four-cylinder petrol engine in the new C300e and a four-cylinder diesel engine in the C 300de. Mercedes has remained tight-lipped about the combined system outputs for the new C 300e and C300de. However, the C 330e’s turbo 2.0-litre engine is claimed to deliver 211hp and the C300de’s turbo 2.0-litre engine 194hp.
The revisions include a number of subtle styling upgrades including re-profiled bumpers with added chrome highlights, new headlights and a new diamond-pattern grille insert for AMG Line models. Inside, the facelifted C-class retains the basic dashboard design of the outgoing model and gets updated analogue instruments and a 7.0-inch infotainment display.
Optional equipment includes a new 12.3-inch high-definition digital instrument display offering three themes (Classic, Sport and Progressive), a revised multi-function steering wheel with touch-control pads, a 10.25-inch free-standing infotainment display and a touchpad controller within a reworked centre console. The C-class’ Comand infotainment system has been upgraded to the same standard as that used by the facelifted S-class. However, it forgoes the touchscreen control and connectivity functions of the more advanced system present in the new A-class.
The C-class also gets optional smartphone integration supporting Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. It is also outfitted with a wireless charging pad. The line-up will be offered with new remote parking pilot and driving assistance package plus systems.
The new line-up will have three diesel models: the 150hp C 200d, 195hp C 220d and 244hp C 300d. Each runs Mercedes’ latest 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine. Three petrol models feature in the line-up: the C 180, C 200 and C 300. The C 180 uses a 1.6-litre turbo engine that produces 156hp in the SLC 180. The C 200 and C 300 both have Mercedes’ new four-cylinder petrol engine.
In the C 200 – a mild hybrid with EQ-Boost badging – the engine delivers a nominal 191hp, with an added 17hp available on kickdown when the alternator acts as an electric motor to boost performance. The C 300 gets a higher state of tune at 244hp, but no electric assistance.
The facelifted C-class line-up will make its public debut in sedan and estate body styles at the Geneva motor show in March. They will be sold in three trim levels – SE, Sport and AMG Line – and Mercedes says the new entry-level SE spec will be higher than today’s.
Mercedes currently sells the previous C-class in India with prices ranging between Rs 41.94 lakh to Rs 46.40 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). There is no word on when this facelift will arrive in India and if the hybrid tech will come along with it.
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Diesel or petrol?
The price difference between the diesel and petrol i20 varies across the line-up by Rs 1.20-1.40 lakh, with the former being more expensive. If your daily run is a few kilometres in the city, the petrol will do the job just fine and will deliver a satisfactory performance. However, if you drive mostly on the highway, irrespective of your annual usage, we’d recommend going in for the diesel for its punchy and effortless performance. What’s nice is that it is very refined too and the controls are light, so if you need to use it in the city too, the diesel i20 is equally easy to drive.
Variant on a budget
If on a tight budget, opt for the Magna Executive variant (P/D: Rs 6/7.31 lakh) which costs Rs 58,000-67,000 more than the base Era variant. While you get basic features like dual front airbags, ABS and speed-sensing door locks from the base variant, the Magna Executive gets the addition of a music system with six speakers, rear air-con vents, four power windows, cooled glovebox, electrically adjustable outside mirrors, front armrest and then some cosmetic features like wheel caps, body-coloured door handles and mirrors.
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