Design: Sensuous clarity and purist forms

Mar 13, 2014
On a visual level, the new C-Class represents a bold departure from its predecessor. Its emotional, sensuous surface geometry deliberately displays a degree of tension and as a result appears muscular and full of character. At the same time the design showcases the high-tech character in a purist, clear and exciting fashion.
Intelligence and emotion – these two polar opposites define the design of the Mercedes-Benz brand. The design of the new C-Class is a statement of this current Mercedes-Benz style of design. On the one hand, modern aesthetics were the source of inspiration for the new Saloon's sensuous lines and surfaces, whose harmony and dynamic spirit touch everyone directly. On the other, the designers have created minimalist, purist forms for the C-Class which emphasise its intelligent technology and engineering. Consequently, progressive and emotional highlights underscore the ground-breaking design style of the new C-Class and demonstrate sensuous clarity.
A long bonnet, a passenger compartment sitting far back and short overhangs characterise the classic, balanced Mercedes-Benz Saloon proportions of the C‑Class. The distance from the front wheel arch to the door opening, which is a measure of comfort, is unusually large for this segment in the case of the new C-Class. Large wheels emphasise the rear end and create the impression of stylish sportiness. Visually the car has a powerful road stance.
Muscular and sensuous
The clearly defined surfaces also deliberately display a degree of tension, lending them a modern and at the same time emotional character. A strong indent in the C-pillar forms a powerful shoulder, which is distinctly sculpted and gives the impression of an athletic muscle. It is emphasised by a soft edge that trails off in the tail lamp. All in all the vehicle body appears powerful but defined by engineering, and conveys dynamic sportiness.
Precise lines and sculptural surfaces create lively light and shadow effects. Viewed from the side, the dropping line highlights the vehicle's proportions as a hallmark Mercedes signature. In tandem with a counter-line rising in the lower part of the vehicle from the front wheel, it creates a formal sense of tension. The counter-line makes the vehicle appear longer, encompasses the rear and ultimately flows over the sides and into the bumper creating a sense of balance.
A high, tense beltline serves as the third side line and visually reduces the height of the side windows. A non-continuous trim strip in the area of the rear window with a consequently high-quality appeal emphasises the C-pillar. The AVANTGARDE and EXCLUSIVE lines are upgraded in addition with a trim strip above the door that tapers off towards the front.
A large selection of light-alloy wheels with diameters between 40.6 cm (16 inches) and 48.3 cm (19 inches) underscores the stylish sportiness of the new C-Class.
Two new fronts to choose from
Depending on the exterior design and equipment line, customers can choose from different front-end designs – with a striking, wide sports grille and central star or with a classic radiator grille with the star on the bonnet.
  • The standard equipment and AVANTGARDE design and equipment line include the sports grille with twin louvres, which emphasises the long bonnet and therefore the vehicle's power and dynamic nature.
  • The classic radiator grille, which is reserved solely for the EXCLUSIVE line, stands for status, refinement and modern luxury. Its sightly taller radiator grille, in which three horizontal louvres and one vertical louvre appear to float, is framed by a three-dimensional chrome surround. The commanding Mercedes star on the bonnet underscores the effortless superiority.
Large air intakes in the bumper hint at the high air flow requirements of the performance engines and underscore the sense of width and sportiness of the front end.
Clearly drawn headlamp contours round off the strong character of the trademark front of the new C-Class. The LED daytime running lamps are integrated into the headlamp in the modern torch design of Mercedes-Benz, giving this element the effect of an eyebrow that lends the new C-Class an energetic, confident "gaze".
The new C-Class comes with H7 halogen headlamps as standard. Two energy-saving LED headlamp variants are optionally available: a static and a dynamic version with "LED Intelligent Light System" and Adaptive Highbeam Assist, which for the first time makes driving with permanent high-beam possible by masking detected road users in the cone of light. Their characteristic night design lends the new C-Class its very own distinctive look in the dark, too.
Rear end with powerful shoulders
The clear design emphasising width and the powerful shoulders give the new C-Class a decidedly athletic appearance from the rear. A soft edge which merges into the tail lights accentuates the indent in the C-pillar which is essential for the powerful shoulder. A strongly vaulted spoiler lip on the boot lid has a positive effect on the Cd value, and also characterises the appearance.
The horizontally oriented tail lights are precisely embedded in the side wall and the bumper and wrap around the edges of the vehicle's rear end. As a result they visually emphasise the width of the vehicle. The brake lamp is positioned between the rear reflector and the tail lamp. Its light intensity varies between daytime and night-time within legally permissible limits. The two-beam-look of the night design is very distinctive and gives the rear end an unmistakable identity in the dark as well. The tail lamps are available with partial or full LED technology.
A horizontal chrome strip as a styling element emphasises the licence plate recess positioned between the tail lamps in hallmark Mercedes fashion. Three-dimensional tailpipes integrated flush into the bumper have a high-value and sporty appeal, and add the finishing visual touches to the vehicle. Together with the lower wing they form a single unit and thus create a special effect, making the rear end a true eye catcher.
Michele Jauch-Paganetti, Head Advanced Design Interior, and Robert Lesnik, Director of Design Passenger Cars Exterior, presenting the new C-Class
Robert Lesnik, Director of Design Passenger Cars Exterior, presenting the new C-Class
Michele Jauch-Paganetti, Head Advanced Design Interior, in the new C-Class
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Design process (W205) 2013