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January 15, 2014 AT 9:03 AM
Mercedes has made the wait for tomorrow’s Detroit Auto Show a little more interesting: the new C-Class is out. Styled like a shrunken S-Class; the new C is no longer the cheap and cheerful, volume-selling workhorse it once was. As is the current trend, model numbers only roughly illustrate engine displacement: available options are the C300, which comes with a 2-liter 240 horsepower turbo four with 273 ft-lbs, the C400 powered by a 3 liter turbo V6 with 329 horsepower and 354 ft-lbs of torque. For the US market, initial models will come with Mercedes’ 4matic all wheel drive system as standard. This new compact luxury car gains 3 inches in wheelbase and nearly 4 inches in height, which Mercedes-Benz say is to accommodate taller drivers and passengers. On the topic of incremental changes, the Mercedes COMAND system now uses GPS to determine the vehicle’s proximity to tunnels and automatically sets the HVAC to recirculate when it determines that the car is in a tunnel. The Germans have not lost the art of charging extra for features that should be standard equipment; H7 halogen headlamps are standard to keep the price of entry down and two different LED headlamp variants available; a first for this class is adjustable air suspension, as well as the standard, but redesigned multilink, steel suspension, and a sports suspension.