Mercedes has announced a fuel-efficient new C180 petrol and a policy of AMG for all.
First of all, the engine. The new C180 BlueEfficiency is powered by a new 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine producing 152 bhp and 250 Nm of torque between 1,250 rpm and 4,000 rpm. That torque (pulling power) spread is remarkable – the engine produces its maximum figure from barely above idle speed. In the saloon and estate it manages 47.9 mpg and 139 g/km of CO2. A year ago, that would have made it as tax-friendly as a diesel, but 2013 tax regulations have made 130 g/km of CO2 the new tax break-point.
The new trim structure has three levels.
Executive SE is the new entry point to the revised range, which includes a sports grille, new 16-inch alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights at a price increase of only £35 over the previous SE grade. Incidentally, how ridiculous is it that the base trim is called Executive SE – a name that would have meant the top trim level a few years ago?
A new Luxury Package is also available for Executive SE models to replace the former Elegance trim. Carrying a £2,000 premium, it offers a different grille, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatically dimming rear view mirror and folding exterior door mirrors, a storage package and brown Ash wood trim with a matt finish. Not much for £2,000, we reckon.
AMG Sport Plus, priced £1,000 above AMG Sport and only £35 more than the previous Sport line, includes 18-inch bi-colour AMG alloys, bi-Xenon front lights with Intelligent Light System and Adaptive High Beam Assist, AMG sports seats, black upholstery with contrast red stitching, red seat belts and silver gearshift paddles.