Interior: Upgrade inside

Mar 13, 2014
The cockpit and passenger compartment come across as clear, sensuous and with a host of new unusual styling details. Clarity stands for visible high-tech attributes and straightforward sportiness – purism in the best sense of the word. Sensuousness stands for design ideas with exciting flowing shapes and high-grade materials – a reinterpretation of contemporary luxury. 
The Mercedes-Benz designers have styled the interior on a level which is rarely found even in higher vehicle categories. This applies to the painstaking choice of select, high-class materials and their pleasant touch and feel as well as the precision of the finely crafted details. The interior also embodies a new design idiom which perfectly combines sensuousness and clarity with dynamic sportiness and contributes to the extraordinary high-class appeal of the interior.
Courage to embrace the new
The designers pick up key traits of the exterior inside the vehicle in order to achieve this overall objective. This applies above all to the scintillating play of contrasts between the clearly sculpted lines and surfaces which grow organically from them. The hallmark contemporary Mercedes-Benz design idiom of the dropping line sloping to the rear is, for instance, picked up in the doors. At the same time, the style-defining new interior of the new C-Class meets the most discerning design expectations which are today characterised by devices such as high-end smartphones and tablets.
Thus the driver and passengers in the new C-Class enjoy a generous sense of space and unobtrusive, modern luxury whose clear-cut style fits in with contemporary tastes. The upshot is a new feel-good character in this category – take a seat in the new C-Class and the sensation is something akin to an upgrade from economy to business class on an airliner.
Mercedes-Benz not only raises the character and perceived value of the interior to a new level for this category with the new C-Class. At the same time, the premium brand also consciously demonstrates through the interior styling the courage to embrace the new in many respects, to adopt a forward-looking vision, thus making an almost radical break with the previous norms in this hitherto rather rational category.
A sweeping centre console as from a single mould
The interior skilfully combines the architecture of the Mercedes-Benz sports cars with a newly interpreted, sporty and flowing centre console design. As a DIRECT SELECT selector lever handles gear selection on vehicles with automatic transmissions, a large, one-piece centre console panel sweeps elegantly from the centre air outlets to the equally new touchpad in the handrest above the controller on the centre tunnel. These continuous clear-cut lines create an open sense of space, conveying an unrivalled sense of simple and purist modernity.
The large solitary component is available in numerous material finishes – such as with contemporary wood surfaces, precisely bordered by a chrome surround, or with an exclusive piano-lacquer look – and characterises the interior's unique ambience with its avant-garde yet sensuous character. The three-dimensional shape of the genuine wood veneers in the centre console conveys modernity and fine craftsmanship. The cover of the stowage compartment, for example, is precisely cut from the veneer of the centre console with virtually no material waste to ensure the individual wood grain continues in the cover without a visual break – the surface of the centre console consists in fact of a single piece of wood veneer.
On vehicles with manual transmission the centre console is slightly steeper and features two separate trim elements in order to create ample space for ergonomic operation of the shift lever.
The progressively styled centre console provides an extremely fluid transition to the instrument panel and beyond into the doors. As a result, visually soft volumes ensconce the passengers and equally convey a sense of security and sportiness.
A wing-like trim element separates the upper and lower section of the sporty designed, broad instrument panel. Its design makes it seem to be floating in the air. Skilfully staged ambience lighting further emphasises this floating effect. The visual separation makes it furthermore possible to choose different material and colour combinations for an individual feel-good atmosphere.
Elevated sportiness and high-value appeal
A centrally positioned free-standing central display is the main eye-catching feature above the centre console – with a screen diagonal of 17.78 centimetres (7 inches), or 21.33 centimetres (8.4 inches) if COMAND Online is specified. Both versions float in the best ergonomic position above the centre console and are connected to it elegantly with a slim horizontal trim piece. Thanks to its ergonomic positioning, the eye easily adapts to the central display. Its surface is completely protected by a glass cover for the first time and is bordered by a galvanised silver shadow frame. Visualisations and animations on the central display enhance the operating convenience and make the functions of driver assistance and communications systems tangible.
A high-quality analogue clock is optionally integrated into the centre console below the upper control panel – an indication of exclusivity and craftsmanship.
The touchpad in the brand-characterising handrest of the central controller in new C-Class was developed by Mercedes-Benz and marks an evolutionary step. As on a smartphone, all the head-unit functions can be operated using finger gestures.
Five round air vents with central adjustment knobs and horizontal louvre insert lend the instrument panel a sporty touch. The five ventilation outlets in silver shadow with their metallic 'cool-touch' effect contrast with the warm look of the other materials – such as the wood in the centre console or the leather on the dashboard.
Three-dimensional trim elements emphasise their high-value appeal - as does the carefully crafted topstitching, for example on the upper section of the instrument panel, the door centre panels and the upper body edge at window level. The door panelling has also been redesigned and is characterised by high-grade materials as well as a striking surface grain and eye-catching curves.
The driver sits behind a wheel that comes in different designs depending on the selected design and equipment line. While each variant features a leather-trimmed 3-spoke steering wheel with 12 function keys, their distinct colours and materials boost the character of the respective design and equipment lines. The leather-trimmed steering wheel of the new AMG Line has a flat bottom. In this way the interior makes extensive differentiation between the polar opposites of "tangible contemporary luxury" and "sensuous clarity" possible.
All switches feature a three-dimensional design befitting a luxury vehicle. High-gloss black, genuine metal and galvanised surfaces, as well as effect paintwork matching the interior appointments colours form a key element of the high-value appeal. Surfaces with uniform styling and a minimal number of switches provide a serene, reassured sense of space. Another example of the attention to detail is provided by the loudspeaker covers. Their delicate structures are elaborately photo etched and bordered by a surround made from genuine stainless steel.
Attractive and sporty seats with seat cushion length adjustment
Already the standard-fit sporty front seats underscore the sporty character of the new C-Class. They offer more comfort in the shoulder area and their special shape is a factor in the expanded legroom for the rear passengers. Their height adjustment range increased by ten millimetres compared with the preceding model series. The head restraints can be moved fore and aft and their height can be adjusted by about 55 millimetres via four detents.
"Cobra-look" front seats with an organic, sporty design and integral head restraint are available for the AVANTGARDE, EXCLUSIVE and AMG Line design and equipment lines. For the first time the front seats can also be ordered with a seat cushion whose length can be adjusted by 60 millimetres, which offers even more options of finding the perfect seating position.
A large selection of seat covers with a variety of materials (e. g. fabric, fabric/Artico, Artico, leather) and refined colour combinations help C-Class customers to configure their vehicles to best suit their individual preferences.
High-strength steels and intelligent lightweight construction are the technical distinguishing marks of the sturdy rear seats. Their newly designed seat cushions furthermore enhance the comfort for the rear-seat passengers who also enjoy considerably more legroom and knee room.
The backrest of the rear seat can be folded with a 40/20/40 split. A folding armrest is integrated in the middle. Compared with the predecessor it offers more stowage space and a larger cupholder. The three height-adjustable head restraints also provide improved rearward visibility.
The following optional extras are available independent of the selected design and equipment line:
  • Seat Comfort package with 4-way lumbar support, manual seat cushion length adjustment and electric seat cushion angle adjustment
  • Fully electric 12-way seat adjustment with Memory package
  • Three-stage seat heating with automatic intensity reduction/deactivation for seat cushion and backrest
  • Seat climate control with seat ventilation and reversible air flow, as well as seat occupancy and child seat recognition in the front passenger seat
The automatic child seat recognition system omits the previous transponder and uses a weight mat instead. This enables any child seat to be used. The airbag is automatically deactivated in this case and reactivated once the child seat has been removed.
Interior lighting with LED technology
The interior lighting uses primarily long-lived and energy-saving LED technology. This also applies to the optionally available ambience lighting in the three colours solar (amber), polar (ice blue) and neutral (white), which are selected via a menu item on the head unit and can be set to five brightness levels. In addition to the lighting elements in the dashboard console panel and on the door trim, the ambience lighting also includes illuminated outer door sill panels, for example.
Stowage concept for even more interior space
A sophisticated stowage concept with extensive stowage options unrivalled in this segment contributes to carefree travelling. The stowage volume in standard specification increased from 19.3 litres for the predecessor to now 29.0 litres (manual gearbox) and 30.2 litres with automatic transmission. More space – this principle also applies to the stowage facilities in the front doors, for example. Compared with the predecessor their volume on each side increased from 1.4 to 4.6 litres.
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