German carmaker DaimlerChrysler AG (NSYE: DCX) presented the latest version of its Mercedes-Benz entry level luxury compact-car on Thursday, touting new styling and safety features.
In front of journalists at the Mercedes-World showcase in Stuttgart, Germany, the manufacturer presented the fourth generation of its biggest-selling model, the C series line of sedans and coupes.
With the new C-Class, we are yet again raising the bar in this important segment of the market said Dieter Zetsche, CEO of DaimlerChrysler and head of the Mercedes Car Group.
The new series boasts four and six cylinder engines, depending on the model, with versions using diesel fuel as well as unleaded gasoline. The cars will be available this spring in three gasoline-powered versions â€“ the C 200, C280 and C350 - as well as a four-cylinder diesel variant.
New safety features will also be introduced, such as the adaptive braking system already available on the pricier S-Class models. Also included are improved controls, pronounced instrumentation, and automatic lighting.
The introduction also marks the first time Mercedes will make two different designs for the faces of one of its sedans. One version will have a classic look, with the three-pointed Mercedes-Benz star placed atop the engine hood. A sportier version will feature the famous trademark on the radiator grille.
Mercedes said it will sell the new C series at the same prices as the previous generation, starting below $40,000. Officials expect the C-Class to go on sale in Europe in late March and in the United States in August.
Shares of Daimler Chrysler closed up $1.35, or 2.23 percent, to $61.78 trading on the New York Stock Exchange.