2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain (BR S206); 2021Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz C-Class All-Terrain for those who don’t like SUVs

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The term ‘dual-purpose’ vehicle started appearing in the late 1970s when 4×4 vehicles got more ‘civilized’ and people began to use them like passenger cars. Then came ‘SUVs’ in the 1990s, followed by ‘crossovers’ in the following decade. Now comes another type of dual-purpose vehicle for those who find a conventional stationwagon less than suitable off-road, but an SUV or crossover is too tall and bulky.

It’s the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class All-Terrain with extra ground clearance than a regular C-Class stationwagon. It’s not a new idea though as Volvo did the same thing with its stationwagon many years ago to create Cross-Country versions that could be used in rougher conditions.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain (BR S206); 2021Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain 4MATIC

More ‘off-roader’ look
The off-road C-Class is differentiated by a distinctive radiator grille, different bumpers, a simulated chrome guard plate at the front and rear and the wheelarch linings in matt dark grey. At the rear, there is a multi-section bumper with a chrome-plated load sill guard.

As the All-Terrain version has an AVANTGARDE exterior, the waistline trim, side window surrounds and roof railings are finished in polished aluminium. The trim on the B-pillars and the bars on the rear side windows are in high-gloss black. The Night Package is also available, changing many items to high-gloss black.

Compared to the regular C-Class stationwagon, the All-Terrain has marginally increased dimensions – 4 mm longer and 21 mm wider, the latter due to the exaggerated wheelarch linings. Of significance is the increased ground clearance of around 40 mm, which has also increased the car’s height to 1,494 mm. The standard tyres are 225/55 on 7.5J x 17 wheels, and customers can also opt to fit 18-inch or 19-inch wheels with wider tyres.

Intelligent DIGITAL LIGHT
The C-Class has LED High Performance headlamps as standard and the DIGITAL LIGHT system from the new S-Class can be chosen as an option. For the All-Terrain, it includes a special off-road light. When driving on light terrain, wide illumination ensures that the driver can see obstacles sooner, even when cornering. As soon as the off-road driving mode is activated, the off-road light switches on and remains active up to 50 km/h.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain (BR S206); 2021Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain 4MATIC

DIGITAL LIGHT has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs in each headlamp, whose light is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors. The resolution is therefore more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle. This allows almost unlimited possibilities for a high-resolution light distribution that adapts to road conditions.

However, the deciding factor is not only the technology in the headlamp, but rather the digital intelligence behind it. An onboard camera and sensor systems detect other road users, with the data being evaluated by powerful computers in milliseconds. Depending on the conditions (including references to maps), the headlamps will have adjustments made to the light distribution.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain (BR S206); 2021Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain 4MATIC

Two electrified engine choices
Petrol or diesel engines are available. The 4-cylinder petrol engine has an integrated second-generation starter-generator (ISG) is used and can use electrical energy to briefly increased output by up to 20 bhp. The 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine is part of a mild hybrid drive system. It too has an integrated second-generation starter-generator and uses a 48V electrical system. Electrification allows the use of an electric refrigerant compressor for the air conditioning system.

As would be expected, the All-Terrain has standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive that will provide more traction and driving stability when going on rough or slippery surfaces. Up to 45% of engine power flows to the front axle, and up to 55% to the rear axle, the ratio varying according to the grip of the wheels. Together with the 4MATIC drive system is a 9-speed automatic transmission.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain (BR S206); 2021Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain 4MATIC

Besides the usual modes in the DYNAMIC SELECT system that offers pre-determined driving programmes, there are two more modes for use when driving in off-road conditions. OFFROAD is programmed for easy terrain such as dirt roads, gravel or sand; OFFROAD+ with DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) is recommended for somewhat rougher and steeper terrain. DYNAMIC SELECT adapts the characteristics of the engine, transmission, steering, ESP and 4MATIC, with the modes selectable even when on the move.

The new front-axle drive allows higher torque levels to be transferred with an ideal axle load distribution for driving dynamics. Moreover, this has a significant weight advantage compared to the corresponding component in the preceding series – a contribution to CO2 reduction. The engineers were also able to reduce the friction losses in the new transfer case and a closed oil circuit is used with no additional cooling measures needed.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain (BR S206); 2021Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain 4MATIC

The suspension is basically the same as the regular C-Class, but the 4-link front suspension has slightly larger steering knuckles for addition robustness. A multi-link suspension mounted on a rear axle carrier is installed at the rear. The suspension has a passive damping system with the damping effect constantly adapting to the road surface, depending on the amplitude. Ride comfort can be improved by reducing the damping effect, and when the shocks are more severe, the full damping action ensures more stability.

Same interior as regular C-Class
The interior of the All-Terrain is similar to that of a regular C-Class stationwagon, with the occupants benefiting from the moderately increased exterior dimensions of the new model generation. Compared to the predecessor, the elbow width has been increased by 22 mm for the driver and front passenger and by 15 mm for the rear passengers. There is 11 mm more headroom in the rear, plus increased kneeroom of up to 35 mm.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain (BR S206); 2021Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain 4MATIC

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain (BR S206); 2021Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain 4MATIC

In terms of digitality and quality, the latest C-Class interior now has highlights such as the display and operating concept adopted from the new S-Class, with a sporty interpretation. Compared to the previous C-Class generation, the latest one has a Driving Assistance Package with additional and advanced functions. These reduce driver workload in day-to-day situations, for more comfortable and safe driving.

The C-Class All-Terrain will have its official global debut at the International Motor Show in Munich, Germany next month, with the first cars reaching showrooms later this year.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain (BR S206); 2021Mercedes-Benz C-Class All Terrain 4MATIC

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