April 01, 2015 By Kevin C. Limjoco Words by Ardie O. Lopez & Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Jerel Fajardo

2015 Mercedes-Benz C200 AMG Avantgarde

Words by Ardie O. Lopez & Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Jerel Fajardo

As it’s always been precisely structured, acquiring a C-Class is primarily a formal induction into the domain of the three-pointed star; the big step into moving up, that comes with a pat on your back and a subtle announcement that you have arrived. Finally on the on the platform of a higher category of automobiles, the structure by design visually ushers you to a new path upwards. The Sedans, the Roadsters, and Coupes, expand in dimension; their aesthetics and detail intend to gradually but systematically take your breath away as you move up the hierarchy. Step back and you can point out where it begins, with a single glance- until recently.

Pardon me if I take reference to some heavily caffeinated drinks, but the previous C-Class compared to this dapper beast, is Iced Latte- no sugar. A thick and dark Double-Espresso swigged fluidly and without hesitation is what the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C200 AMG would be, in coffee terms: A hot, brisk, shot of WOW. Of course it’d have to come with much freshly-steaming fanfare, in translucent and flawless china, no less. Like the drink, the new C-Class in AMG garb tends to raise the pulse rate quite a bit.

Design-wise, it’s clearly more dramatic- the character lines, a lot more deliberate. There’s absolutely no sign of it being the brethren’s neophyte, for it has ceased to be. It was bestowed with a learned and purposeful gaze, matching its elegantly athletic stance. But as one would presume, all the superlatives don’t end at the sculpted sheet metal. The C200 AMG provides an endless buzz by thrill of driving, and it does it in style.

The 2.0L displacement of its inline-4 DOHC 16V gasoline engine is rendered quite deceiving, as its Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo would make you swear there are two extra cylinders concealed somewhere. It’d be a contradiction of terms, but the kind of acceleration it delivers should be called violent, but is lush, on the contrary. Turbo lag is virtually non-existent, and the smoothness of a launch-in-motion via its silkened 7-Speed Gtronic Plus Automatic Transmission is simply an exercise in highly refined brutality. No snap-back antics of the sort, but rather a reassuring sensation of the premium leather sport seat getting more snug against your entire back and sides, as the needles on the twin dials do their clockwise ballet. 184 bhp at 5500 revs appear puzzling on paper, as 221 lb. ft. of Torque make every pound count from 1200 revs all the way up to 4000. It seems to be guaranteed not to relent until you do.

Mercedes-Benz’s latest version of its COMAND infotainment system is controlled by a dial, and a touch pad located center of the dashboard.

At speed, it’s fascinating how the precise handling and plush ride quality make you take close notice of the interior, fleetingly by sight but entirely by tactile sensation. The instrument cluster, center console cocooned in leather; the combination of richly lacquered wood and matte alloys of the interface- poetry. Stating this is a step-up from its predecessor is a glaring understatement, as even the 14.9L/100 Km City and 7.8L/100 Km Highway mileage, is simply the cherry on the finest White Chocolate Macchiato.

You see, at this level, I can’t help but notice a tinge of Italian passion on the C200 AMG’s encompassing German precision on its exceptional performance, and tenacious attention to detail. It is unmistakably potent, and I certainly wouldn’t mind another shot.

The steering’s response is light and crisp. Engage Sport+ and you can feel it tighten much to the delight of your right foot.

 

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Timeline – Kevin C. Limjoco
The monumentally successful Mercedes-Benz C-class product range began its fabulous career with its ground breaking predecessor the 190E (W201). The 190E actually had the longest model life that spanned over a decade and was a test bed for a long list of engineering that trickled all the way up to the S-class flagship. Which ironically is now the reverse with the all-new generation, which is genuinely a baby S-class. Some of my most memorable childhood experiences were behind the wheel of an Uncle’s 190E 2.6, which had a 5-speed manual transmission and a mighty 168 bhp in a time when most cars in the Philippines were hugely plebian. We still have an exquisite black 2.3-16 model tucked away in Cebu where we featured it in C! in our 2nd issue back in 2002. We have owned and thoroughly tested every single C-class generation including the Coupé variants leading up to the incredible all-new model (W205). Mercedes-Benz has built an enormous array of variants of the C-class from the laughable sub-model CLC (W203) that was thankfully killed off early, to wagons, proper coupés, and of course the much coveted full high-performance AMG’s. Technically, there were evolutionary models in between the generations that featured facelifts, AMG components, and general upgraded equipment, so many folks think that there are as many as 8 models instead of the definitive 4 primary generations. We included the predecessor, the 190E, to demonstrate the progress from its forefather. If the 190E had failed commercially, we may have never enjoyed an affordable premium compact Mercedes-Benz that authentically embraced the brand principles. For our comparative purposes we present the logical dynamic parallel models through each generation. Note how the C-class dimensionally grew through the years leading up to the all-new model tested here, which is at its most flamboyant, most purposeful, and arguably at its most beautiful. Being an owner of every generation, I can tell you all that I love the all-new C-class. It is at its most lithe yet most spacious, offering the very latest technologies and luxuries in a package that is also at its most fuel efficient and least offensive to the environment.

Specification – 1988 Mercedes-Benz (W201) 190E 2.3-16 (1982-1993)
Engine: Inline-4, 2299 cc, DOHC, 16V, Getrag 5-Speed MT
Max power: 167 bhp @ 5800 rpm
Max torque: 162 lb ft @ 4750 rpm
L x W x H: 4448 mm x 1679 mm x 1389 mm
Wheelbase: 2664 mm
Weight: (kerb) 1337 kg. (3030 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 7.9 seconds
Top Speed (mph): 220 km/h (137 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 17 mpg City / 24 mpg Highway

Specification – 1995 Mercedes-Benz (W202) C280 (1993-2000)
Engine: Inline-6, 2802 cc, DOHC, 24V, 4-Speed AT
Max power: 192 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max torque: 199 lb ft @ 3750 rpm
L x W x H: 4505 mm x 1720 mm x 1425 mm
Wheelbase: 2670 mm
Weight: (kerb) 1523 kg. (3350 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 8.1 seconds
Top Speed (mph): 230 km/h (143 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 20 mpg City / 26 mpg Highway

Specification – 2002 Mercedes-Benz (W203) C200K (2000-2007)
Engine: Inline-4, 1796 cc, DOHC, 16V, Supercharged, 5-Speed AT
Max power: 163 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max torque: 177 lb ft @ 3000-4000 rpm
L x W x H: 4526 mm x 1728 mm x 1426 mm
Wheelbase: 2715 mm
Weight: (kerb) 1475 kg. (3252 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 9.1 seconds
Top Speed (mph): 222 km/h (138 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 19 mpg City / 29 mpg Highway

Specification – 2008 Mercedes-Benz (W204) C300 Avantgarde (2007-2014)
Engine: V-6, 2996 cc, DOHC, 24V, Gtronic 7-Speed AT
Max power: 230 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Max torque: 221 lb ft @ 2500-5000 rpm
L x W x H: 4582 mm x 1770 mm x 1447 mm
Wheelbase: 2760 mm
Weight: (kerb) 1555 kg. (3428 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 7.2 seconds
Top Speed (mph): 250 km/h (155 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 18 mpg City / 25 mpg Highway

 

Specification – 2015 Mercedes-Benz (W205) C200 AMG (2014-Present)
Engine: Inline-4, 1991 cc, DOHC, 16V, Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo, Gtronic Plus 7-Speed AT
Max power: 184 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max torque: 221 lb ft @ 1200-4000 rpm
L x W x H: 4686 mm x 1810 mm x 1442 mm
Wheelbase: 2840 mm
Weight: (kerb) 1465 kg. (3223 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 7.3 seconds
Top Speed (mph): 235 km/h (147 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 27 mpg City / 36 mpg Highway

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