Full-width digital dashboard and autonomous driving tech for Merc's baby executive
20 January 2015

Work is well under way on a major facelift for Mercedes-Benz's C-Class family, just 12 months after it was first revealed, as these spy shots show.

The biggest exterior change will be a completely revised dashboard featuring a full-width TFT screen, very similar to that used in the new S-Class flagship.

The new dash will be fully reconfigurable, allowing the driver to scroll through a number of different graphic displays.

The new TFT screen will also be integral to a raft of ‘autonomous’ driving technologies that will be offered on the revised C-Class, which is expected to be revealed in late 2016.

The new car will be equipped with a raft of detection equipment, including radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors, to allow it to ‘read’ its surroundings.

The ‘Stop and Go Autopilot’ feature being offered on the current S-Class will almost certainly be offered on the next C-Class. This system allows autonomous driving in traffic jams, the car self-steering to stay in lane and using radar and auto-braking to prevent low-speed impacts.

It’s thought the prototype C-Class caught winter testing in Scandinavia is undergoing proving trials to ensure that the car’s exterior sensors work as well as possible in severe weather, such a very low temperatures and with snow being thrown up by the vehicle ahead.

Other changes to the C-Class are expected to be relatively mild, including some cosmetic alterations to the exterior and interior trim and tweaks to the engine range.

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The C-Class shares a lot of its looks with the new S-Class, furthering its desirability

Can our perennial runner-up in this class finally reach the top spot?

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Comments
15

20 January 2015
If the driver/car in front of you lapses concertation and goes into the car in front of it would you just pile in too?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

20 January 2015
Actually now I've woken up I suppose it leaves a big enough gap in case the car in front does stop dead. People will be forever cutting into that big gap causing your car to brake every time.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

20 January 2015
Car interior will never be the same again after Tesla Model S.

21 January 2015
"The biggest exterior change will be a completely revised dashboard "

Think the word exterior needs dropped...

I'm surprised by the need to change the interior so quickly. Perhaps the cheap looking tablet stuck on the dash design isn't winning any customers over

21 January 2015
Yes Superstevie that screen poking up doesn't do an otherwise good interior any favours.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

21 January 2015
This car has just appeared. Maybe MB are anticipating the new A4 and I suspect a revised Beemer 3. Be interesting to see if there are new petrol engines or perhaps a cheaper petrol hybrid.

21 January 2015
It's clear the impending launch of the Jaguar XE is forcing Mercedes to thoroughly revise a car only 2 years after its launch, while the lukewarm reception the car received is possibly another reason too. But it's commendable that the interior is being completely revamped because it not only looked cheap, as well as odd with that after-market looking touch screen, but the interior quality was well below par too. Mercedes needs to up the quality too to befit a car of premium status and if it has any chance on matching the superb quality and design of the XE's interior. Whether the car can be dynamically improved is a different matter as the handling and ride are not good enough, though we may have to wait until the next generation C Class for the handling and ride to be up to Jaguar standards as there's only so much that can be done with the current car.

21 January 2015
Quote
The biggest exterior change will be a completely revised dashboard featuring a full-width TFT screen, very similar to that used in the new S-Class flagship.
Unquote

So lets get this right - MB is now attaching a fancy new dashboard outside the car as stated by Autocar. Well, thats different. Bit chilly in winter!!!

what's life without imagination

21 January 2015
So I guess this means the complaints about the tablet-style display will be replaced with complaints about the huge screens and high dash top...?

21 January 2015
Looking closely at the photo, it doesn't look to me like a single full-width screen. It seems to be a larger version of the current stuck-on centre screen and a fully digital driver display like the S-Class. But definitely two separate screens (look at the shroud covering the centre screen, it shows that the centre screen sits proud of the dash and further forward than the driver's screen).

The S-Class uses two separate screens as well, but they are flush with only a small divider between them so it looks like one very wide screen from a distance. The backlighting on the S-Class dash is also designed to make it look like one single screen.

No doubt we will eventually end up with ultra-wide touchscreens which run most of the way across the dash and replace most of the regular buttons, but this doesn't look like it.

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