Mercedes-Benz C-Class 1999 posters

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class burst onto the scene in 1993 as a rival to BMW's E36 3 Series. Its predecessor, the 190, had been popular, and the C-Class was no different. Quickly becoming the best-selling family of vehicles for Mercedes-Benz around the world, much of this could be attributed to its affordability. Though it was the entry-level to Mercedes-Benz's range at the time, it now is not the smallest and least expensive. Mercedes also maintained the 190's sporty image by giving the C-Class a smoother and more rounded look than the other vehicles they were producing. The automotive giant also released a competition version of the C-Class for the DTM (German Touring Car Championship). In its debut, the C-Class was the sole model featuring a full lineup of multivalve engines. From a 1.8 L to a 2.2 L, its power started at 122 PS (90 kw/121 hp) and its C 220 D had 95 PS (70 kW/94 hp), which was remarkable for the time. Meanwhile, the C 280 was the first entry-level Mercedes with a six cylinder engine, having a maximum output of 193 PS (142 kW/190 hp). In 1994 and 1995, Mercedes introduced some new features in its engine range. This included a supercharged petrol version, the C 230 Kompressor, and a 250 D Turbo, both equipped with 20-valve five cylinder engines. Mercedes also responded to BMW's M3 with the C 36 AMG, containing a 3.6 L engine with a maximum output of 280 PS (206 kW/276 hp) and a five-speed automatic Tiptronic gearbox. In 1997, the C-Class had subtle interior changes, and for the first time released a station wagon, the T-Modell. In 1998, the C 200 Kompressor model was offered, as well as a V6 engine, ranging from 2.4 L to 2.8 L, using SOHC heads with only three valves per cylinder. AMG developed a new peak model for the C, the C 43 AMG, using a 4.3 L V8 engine with 306 PS (225 kW/302 hp) and 410 Nm (302 ft.lbf) of torque. It also was offered as a station wagon, and 4200 units were produced.

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