Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W202)

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W202)
1997-2000 Mercedes-Benz C 200 (W202) Classic sedan 01.jpg
Mercedes-Benz C 200 (Australia, facelift)
Overview
Production May 1993 – July 2000
Model years 1994–2000
Assembly Bremen, Germany
Sindelfingen, Germany
East London, South Africa
Santiago Tianguistenco, Mexico
Toluca, Mexico
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
6 October, Egypt (EGA)
Samut Prakan, Thailand (TAAP)
Designer Bruno Sacco , Peter Pfeiffer [1][2]
Body and chassis
Class Compact executive car (D)
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door wagon
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Related Mercedes-Benz C208
Mercedes-Benz R170
Powertrain
Engine 1.8–2.3 L M111 I4
2.8 L M104 I6
2.4–2.8 L M112 V6
3.6 L M104 I6 AMG
4.3 L M113 V8 AMG
2.0–2.2 L OM604 diesel I4
2.2 L OM611 diesel I4
2.5 L OM605 diesel I5
Transmission 5/6-speed manual
4/5-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,670 mm (105.1 in)
Length 4,505 mm (177.4 in)
Width 1,720 mm (67.7 in)
Height 1,425 mm (56.1 in)
Chronology
Predecessor Mercedes-Benz 190 (W201)
Successor Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W203)

In October 1986, 3 years into Mercedes-Benz W201 (190)'s production run, work began on a successor. In May 1993, the first generation W202 Mercedes-Benz C-Class was introduced as a replacement for the 190. The C-Class sedan was the company's entry-level model up until 1997, when Mercedes launched the smaller A-Class. Styling themes were carried over from the previous W201 series, but the new series had a smoother and rounder design than the previous generation of compact Mercedes.

Design work began in 1987, with the final design by Murat Gunak being selected in 1989 and the production design by Olivier Boulay frozen in January 1990, being later patented on 19 December 1990.[3][4][5][6] Rough prototypes went into testing in 1989, with first production design prototypes commencing testing in 1990.

1,847,382 W202 models were produced.[7]

New naming scheme[edit]

Originally Mercedes-Benz models were badged with numbers followed by letters, such as 190 E. With the W202, Mercedes-Benz chose to make all models use letters before the number, for example, C 180 or C 220. The W202 C-Class was the first Mercedes-Benz model to use the new, modern naming scheme. This naming scheme was applied to all models in 1994, excluding Vito, Viano and Sprinter (released in 1995).

Engines[edit]

Mercedes-Benz C 220 Elegance (Australia, pre-facelift)

On its debut, the C-Class was the only Mercedes model with a complete lineup of multi-valve engines. The new family of four-cylinder petrol units, called M111, debuted in the C 180 (1.8 L, 122 PS (90 kW; 120 hp)), C 200 (2.0 L, 136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp) and C 220 (2.2 L, 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp), the only four-cylinder of the range sold in the U.S.). In 1997 the C 220 was replaced by the C 230, enlarged to 2.3 L displacement but with the same output, although with torque increased to 220 N·m (162 lb·ft). The C 280 was the high-end model of the class, with a four-valve-per-cylinder straight-6 engine, capable of reaching 193 PS (142 kW; 190 hp).

Four-cylinder diesel models were equipped with the same OM601 engine of the 190, in the 2.0 L and 2.2 L versions. Many of these diesel variants were sold as taxis, due to their low fuel consumption and strong reliability. There were also more powerful OM605 five-cylinder engines which were available in naturally aspired (C 250 D) and turbocharged (C 250 TD) forms. The turbodiesel was introduced in 1995 and is one of the novelties in the engine range available from this year. The most important was a supercharged version of the M111 straight four, the C 230 Kompressor, using a Roots-type supercharger to generate 193 PS (142 kW; 190 hp) at 5300 rpm: Mercedes-Benz reused supercharger technology after 50 years. Due to the tax law in Italy and Portugal, models in those countries featured a supercharged version of the smaller 2.0 L (C 200 Kompressor), which had a similar output of the C 230 Kompressor.

The 1997 diesel models featured the OM611, equipped with a common rail direct injection system (co-developed with Bosch). The new model was named C 220 CDI, and had an improved output of 30 PS (22 kW; 30 hp) compared with the C 220 Diesel, better fuel average and lower emissions. Also, the inline six engines were replaced by a family of V6, the M112. The new engines featured SOHC heads instead of the previous DOHC, three valves per cylinder instead of four, and twin sparkplugs. The four-cylinder C 230 was replaced by the C 240 (2.4 L) and the I6 C 280 by the V6 C 280. These changes reduced emissions and improved fuel consumption, without sacrificing power (the C 280 in fact had a slight 4 PS (3 kW; 4 hp) increase with the change).

In the last four years of production, the W202 received a few changes in the choices of engine. In 1998, a less powerful version of the 2.2 L turbodiesel was added, called C 200 CDI, which replaced the C 220 Diesel. In 2000, the C 200 Kompressor's output was cut to 163 PS (120 kW; 161 hp), the C 240 displacement was enlarged from 2.4 L to 2.6 L, but output remained at 170 PS (130 kW; 170 hp) and the C 180 got a 2.0 L engine.

Transmissions[edit]

The original W201 "Baby Benz" came standard in Germany with a five-speed manual transmission, automatic transmissions were optional. In the United States automatic transmissions were standard, but individuals had the option of a manual transmission although few chose the option. At the launch of the "official" C-Class, all W202 variants were equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox. The 722.4 four-speed automatic transmission, also called 4G-TRONIC, was available as extra cost (standard on the C 36 AMG), which US dealers chose to mainly offer on sales lots. In 1996 this old transmission – which was on sale since 1981 – was replaced by a five-speed automatic gearbox (aka 722.5 or 5G-TRONIC), which received the manual shifting in 1999 (722.6). In 2000 the T-Model, the only still on sale, was available with the optional G56 6-speed manual transmission from the W203, but only in the RWD C240.

Safety[edit]

Pre-facelift C 220 Elegance sedan, Australia
Facelift C 180 Classic sedan, Australia

At the launch the C-Class had a standard driver airbag, ABS and integrated side-impact protection; the front passenger airbag became standard from 1995 onwards, and from the same period Traction control (ETS in the 4-cylinder models, combined with limited slip differential (ASD) or ASR in the 6 cylinders models) was available as extra cost. In 1997 ASR became standard in the C 280s equipped with the automatic transmission and in the C 36 AMG, as ETS in the 4-cylinder models, except for the C 180 and the C 220 Diesel.

With the 1997 restyling ASR became standard in all the models, except in the C 180 and C 220 Diesel. This last model continued to offer ETS available as extra cost. Moreover, front side airbags and Brake assist (BAS) came in the list of standard safety features. The two basic models finally joined ASR in 1998, and, in 1999, the W202 was the first compact sedan to offer ESP as standard in all the range.

Crash test ratings[edit]

EuroNCAP adult occupant:[8] 2/5 stars
EuroNCAP pedestrian (pre-2002 rating): 2/4 stars
NHTSA crash test ratings (1997):[9]
Frontal Driver: 4/5 stars
Frontal Passenger: 4/5 stars
Side Driver: 3/5 stars
Side Rear Passenger: 4/5 stars

AMG models [edit]

In 1995, the C-Class received its first genuine performance model, the C 36 AMG, to counter the new six-cylinder BMW M3. Developed with AMG, the tuning house that had now become a subsidiary of Daimler-Benz, it had racing-tuned suspension (lowered by 25 mm (1 in)) and in the USA, a four-speed automatic gearbox, followed by a standard five-speed automatic gearbox. The 3.6 L engine had a general output of 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) at 5750 rpm and 385 N·m (284 lb·ft) at 4000 rpm. AMG later conceded that since the engine was hand-assembled, power outputs could vary slightly from 276 hp (206 kW) to 287 hp (214 kW). The C36 AMG accelerates to 60 mph (97 km/h) from a stop in 5.8 seconds and top speed was electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). Unlimited Top Speed was recorded at 272 km/h (169 mph).[citation needed] Only a total of 5200 C36 AMGs were produced.

In late 1997 (1998 model year) AMG released a new flagship for the C-Class, the C 43 AMG, powered by a 4.3 L V8, which could now achieve 310 PS (228 kW; 306 hp) at 5850 rpm, with a torque of 410 N·m (302 lb·ft) at 3250 rpm. Unlike the C36, which was in fact a "ready-to-sell" C280 disassembled for tuning at the AMG factory, the C43 was the first AMG car to be completely assembled at the AMG plant in Affalterbach after the acquisition of AMG by Daimler-Benz in 1998. The C43 AMG can achieve a 0–100 km/h (0–60 mph) time in 5.7 seconds for the saloon version and 5.9 seconds for the estate. The C43 was the first C-Class to be equipped with a Mercedes-Benz V8 engine.

Mercedes-Benz W202 C 43 AMG (US)

Two versions exist: a saloon (chassis W202.033) and estate also called the "T version" (chassis W202.093). The overall body of the C43 AMG estate version has many similarities with the C36 AMG, except for the front and rear bumpers as well as the side body, both of which were re-designed. The black engine cover with the chrome AMG and Mercedes-Benz star logos is also very typical from that period in this market segment.

Some differences have been reported between the 1998 and the 2000 version such as the ECU software on the 2000 version that seems to provide better gearbox performances and longer life to the gearbox. The 2000 model also gives the ability to power tilt the steering wheel and manually shift with a tiptronic shift gate for all W202's, and AMG stamped letters on the brake calipers (C43 only).

The car was manufactured for a little more than two years – from the end of 1997 to the spring of 2000 for a total of 4,200 units 20% of which are estates and 80% saloons, with only 25 C 43 vehicles of the 2000 model year imported to the US.

The C43 is powered by a tuned version of the 4.3-liter M113 V8 engine originally found on the W210 E 430 model. After modifications this engine delivers 306 PS (225 kW; 302 hp) at 5,850 rpm, up to 410 N·m (302 lb·ft) of torque at 3,250 rpm-5,000 rpm (taken at the crank) and up to 241 hp (180 kW) at 6,320 rpm measured at the wheels. According to Mercedes-Benz, the car can reach 155.5 mph (250.3 km/h), with electronic speed limitation and 168 mph (270 km/h) without.[citation needed] Transmission is an AMG-modified version of the five-speed automatic gearbox found on 1998–2000 R129 SL 500. Main modifications were made in order to achieve a crisper and better adapted gearbox to higher-rpm upshifts. Also the braking system has been taken from the W210 E 55 AMG.

US-spec models[edit]

W202s in North America included the C 220 (later replaced by the C 230), C 240, C 280 (both I6 and V6) and the AMG variants. It was launched in the U.S. in November 1993, and unlike models in Europe, featured a third stop light, no specific trim levels, and side markers integrated into the front-turn signals. The top speed was also electronically limited to 130 mph (210 km/h) in the US due to tire speed restrictions.

T-Model[edit]

Mercedes-Benz introduced a station wagon model in 1996, internally designated T-Model (T for tourenwagen – touring car). It shared the same trim levels as the sedan, with the exception of the AMG versions. The W202 T-model was not made available to the North American market, although the W203 version was.

W202 updates[edit]

MY1994–1997 W202 C-Class sedan (US)
MY1998–2000 W202 C280 Sport sedan (US)

On 2 May 1996, German design patents were filed for updates made to the W202 C-Class.[10] Later on in June 1997, the C-Class was given a small midlife freshening, with new darker rear tail light lenses, new wheel rims as well as subtle interior trim changes, including on the door mouldings. The exterior radio antenna was no longer fender mounted and was integrated into the rear glass. The front and rear bumpers were also reshaped, colour-coded side skirts were also fitted. The revised C 200 and C 230 models were fitted with a supercharger and denoted on the trunk lid as a "Kompressor".

References[edit]