DADDY BENZ WAS SATISFIED
In the minds of most motorists,
and Russian in particular, the Mercedes brand represents an ideal.
Working on the “project 203” - the third-generation C-class (ЗР, 2000, No. 5), the designers of the “Daimler-Chrysler” tried not to break the tradition, although they shifted the emphasis in some way. Today we have the opportunity to share first impressions of the new model.
Healthy conservatism has always been decisive for cars from Stuttgart. The appearance of the new C-class, addressed, as it follows from the brochures, to the young dynamic generation, bears a clear touch of sportiness. In profile, the rounded shape of the roof resembles a coupe, the sidewall lines have become more prominent and “muscular”, light blocks of an original, well-recognizable shape settled on the very sloping front. Nevertheless, without even looking at the branded radiator lining, you can easily recognize the make of the machine. But to determine what kind of model it is … The design of the stern is undoubtedly good, but almost completely, repeats to the details implemented on sports SLK, CL and executive S-class. Whether such similarity will be flattering to owners of more prestigious and expensive models is a question.
The dimensions of the previous C-class remained almost unchanged, only the wheelbase increased most noticeably - by 25 mm. The drag coefficient Cx decreased from 0.30 to 0.26, a record for the class indicator. The width and height of the cabin slightly increased - an average of 10 mm. There is a fair amount of free space behind the head and in front of the knees, and the heavily tilted racks make landing somewhat difficult, but, combined with a deep embossed seat, create coziness and a certain detachment from the outside world.
The driver’s landing is facilitated by the steering wheel automatically moving up and down, although the distance from the developed roller of lateral support on the back to the front panel is small - you cannot plop relaxedly. The number of seat adjustments is impressive (with memory for three options) and their range - even in height of about 100 mm. The wheel, suppressing all sorts of liberties, aggressively forces you to return to the correct "ten minutes to two" - otherwise it is inconvenient to keep it.
Some solutions are addictive; others are not entirely optimal. For example, to engage reverse gear, the entire lever must first be pulled up. The accelerator pedal is located almost vertically, and the movements of the buttons on the power window control panel contradict the movement of the windows. We add that the driver shifted down the left steering column switch when manipulating the pedals (in the left turn) risks breaking it with his knee. However, this is the end of the list of claims, otherwise everything is convenient and soundly in German.
We already wrote about the richness of decoration and equipment: leather and polished wood, carbon fiber and aluminum, audio and climate systems, a computer and navigation system, as well as ABS and ESP, eight airbags, a telephone, servos and everything. This, as well as many other things in different combinations is offered in the versions: Classic, Elegance and Vanguard. In general, quite a bit of what ten years ago was the property of only luxury limousines will not be on the list of standard equipment. And among the additional - for sure there is everything.
However, it's time to test the car on the road. To begin with, two “medium” gasoline modifications - C200 compressor and C240. Their capabilities are quite enough in order to wipe the nose of most rivals when starting from a traffic light. They are very dynamic and close in their capabilities, differences in nuances: in the first - the motor pulls “lower” a little better and is not as demanding on gears, the second - loves high revs more and, accordingly, makes it work more intensively with the gear lever to fully realize its of opportunities.
Speaking of box. It is six-speed here, which allows you to always keep the speed in the right range. Six gears, and even with shortened moves can boast very few "serious" cars. At the same time, close numbers with quiet movement easily allow you to skip gears, accelerating according to the I-III-V algorithm (fifth - “direct”) and forget for the time being about the existence of the VI gear.
After its powerful counterparts, the 129-horsepower C180 is already perceived almost as a “slow-moving”. Although this is how to look - acceleration to “hundreds” in 11 s and 210 km / h of maximum speed speak for themselves. Another thing is the C320 with the mandatory five-speed “automatic” (by the way, with a manual control function) - stepped on the gas, stuck to the back of the seat and swept forward, without thinking about such trifles as revolutions and gears.
Diesel cars C200 CDI, C220 CDI and C270 CDI do not fit into the established stereotype at all - these are still those fighters - with Common Rail injection, turbocharging, intercooler. They are not much inferior, but in some ways superior to their gasoline counterparts. Their main feature, in addition to excellent efficiency, is an even but narrow working range, which makes you work intensively with the gear lever. However, they are all equipped with "automatic".
The new “Mercedes” not only drives faster than its predecessor, but also more tenaciously stands on the road, or rather “drives” - for a car claiming to be sporty, this is more than relevant. Incidentally, the matter was not limited to “toughening” the suspension - it was decided to abandon the double wishbones in front and return to the McPherson-type suspension, as well as apply rack and pinion steering gear. This solution has one more plus - a simpler layout and a spacious engine compartment. Of course, a stiffer suspension is not so comfortable, but it allows you to feel the car better, providing its accurate behavior, sharp reactions, minimal rolls. In general, if the previous model was designed to reliably and comfortably transport its owner from point A to point B, then the current one also gives pleasure from driving. We admit, it was a good success - dad Benz would be pleased.
Before the start of the summer season, the Russian premiere of the new C-Class took place. He was introduced by an authorized dealer - the company AZR. There is no special “Russian package”, the price in Moscow will start at 38 thousand dollars.
"Mercedes-Benz-190" model 1983 (factory index "201"). Then on the highway in Nardo (southern Italy) passed 50 thousand km in 201 h 59 min, setting a world speed record for this distance - 247.54 km / h! Over the next ten years, 1.88 million vehicles were produced.