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by Tim Beissmann

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class range has been expanded overseas with a number of new drive systems, including the new entry-level C160 and the mid-tier C300.

Powering the C160 is a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 95kW and 210Nm. It’s available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, and helps the sedan from 0-100km/h in 9.6 seconds and consumes fuel at a rate of 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

The C160 undercuts the previous base model, the 115kW/250Nm 1.6-litre C180 (not offered in Australia), by a little over 2000 euros in Germany, giving the range a new starting price of 31,684 euros ($43,840) in its home market.

At the other end of the four-cylinder spectrum is the new C300, which becomes the top-performing four-pot in the line-up. The C300’s 2.0-litre turbo produces 180kW and 370Nm, giving it a healthy advantage over the 155kW/300Nm C250. The C300 is 0.7sec quicker from 0-100km/h than the C250 (5.9 vs 6.6), though uses 18 per cent more fuel (6.3L/100km vs 5.3).

The C300 costs roughly 2600 euros ($3600) more than the C250 in Germany.

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The new bookends of the four-cylinder family aren’t destined for our market, however, with Mercedes-Benz Australia public relations manager Jerry Stamoulis confirming the local division is happy with its current line-up and has no plans to introduce either of the new variants at this stage.

Stamoulis admitted that the business cases for new models were always being reassessed however, leaving the door open to further additions to the C-Class line-up beyond those already confirmed for our market in the future.

Other new variants introduced overseas but not coming here include the 4Matic all-wheel-drive versions of the C200 and C220d.

Mercedes’ local C-Class range will be anything but stagnant over the coming 12-15 months, however.

The Mercedes-AMG C63 S will roar into showrooms in August, the C350e plug-in hybrid lobs in December, and the C450 AMG 4Matic will fill out the top-end of the range around the middle of next year.




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