The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class features a touchpad and a GPS that looks for tunnels
Mercedes-Benz is on a roll. After the recent U.S. debut of its high-end S-Class sedan, the automaker is now trumpeting the new 2015 C-Class. The “compact executive car” has a slew of brand-new tech advancements, some of which it shares with the much more expensive S-Class.
Air-Balance is one—the system that can enhance the air quality inside the car. An ionizer in the C-Class will automatically remove harmful odors as you drive. But if removal's not enough, you can disperse an aroma of your choice throughout the cabin using a vial inserted into a compartment in the dash.
The car's GPS figures in an even better enhancement to air quality: The C-Class can now determine when you're about to enter a tunnel. The confined nature of tunnels means that fumes from cars naturally collect there—and if there's a traffic jam (as there often is in the Swiss Alps, for example), the air in the tunnel quickly becomes noxious. C-Class to the rescue: The climate controls can automatically shut the vents that bring in air from the outside and instead recirculate the air that's already inside the car.
The 2015 C-Class will also have a new touchpad located between the front seats. You can use one finger to make gestures and swipes on the dash-mounted touchscreen—which looks more like a tablet than ever before. A haptic vibration helps you “feel” the screen as you click buttons and drag around the map.
Another new sensor in the passenger seat can detect when you use a child’s car seat and automatically disable the airbag. In most cars, the car seat is too light to trigger deactivation.
Other features the C-Class shares with the S-Class include driver-assisted steering that keeps you in a lane, and the pre-safe braking that can spot objects (and people) in the road and brake for you in an emergency.
If the C-Class's GPS can see a tunnel, it couldn't be long before it can see when there’s a hard curve coming up and prep the suspension before the driver even realizes what’s up. The C-Class goes on sale early next year—no word on how much it will set you back.