Mercedes-Benz W202 is a compact executive car which was produced by the German automaker Mercedes-Benz in 1993–2000, under the C-Class model names. In May 1993, the first generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class was introduced as a replacement for the 190. The C-Class sedan was the company’s entry-level model up until 1997, when Mercedes-Benz launched the smaller A-Class. Styling themes were carried over from the previous W201 series, but the new series had a smoother and rounder design than the previous generation of the compact Mercedes-Benz.
Development started on a new second generation 190 in October 1986, with design work commencing in 1987 under Bruno Sacco. By 1988, the first full-scale models were constructed. By December 1988, it had been narrowed to two finalists. The final design by Olivier Boulay was chosen in 1989 as the winning proposal and the production design was frozen in January 1990, being later patented on 19 December 1990. Rough prototypes went into testing in 1989, with first production design prototypes commencing testing in 1990.
1,847,382 W202 models were produced. / Wikipedia
Originally Mercedes-Benz models were badged with numbers followed by letters, such as 190 E. With the W202, Mercedes-Benz chose to make all models use letters before the number, for example, C 180 or C 220. The W202 C-Class was the first Mercedes-Benz model to use the new, modern naming scheme. This naming scheme was applied to all models in 1993, excluding Vito, Viano and Sprinter (released in 1995).
On 2 May 1996, German design patents were filed for updates made to the W202 C-Class. Later on in June 1997, the C-Class was given a small midlife freshening, with new darker rear tail light lenses, new wheel rims as well as subtle interior trim changes, including on the door mouldings. The exterior radio antenna was no longer fender mounted and was integrated into the rear glass. The front and rear bumpers were also reshaped, colour-coded side skirts were also fitted. The revised C 200 and C 230 models were fitted with a supercharger and denoted on the trunk lid as a “Kompressor”.
In the last four years of production, the W202 received a few changes in the choices of engine. In 1998, a less powerful version of the 2.2 L turbodiesel was added, called C 200 CDI, which replaced the C 220 Diesel. In 2000, the C 200 Kompressor’s output was cut to 163 PS (120 kW; 161 hp), the C 240 displacement was enlarged from 2.4 L to 2.6 L, but output remained at 170 PS (130 kW; 170 hp) and the C 180 got a 2.0 L engine.
The original W202 “Baby Benz” came standard in Germany with a five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions optional. In the United States, automatic transmission was standard, with manual available as a delete option (with few choosing to do so). The four-speed automatic was the 722.4 version of the 4G-Tronic. In 1996, this old transmission—released in 1981—was replaced by a five-speed automatic, the 722.6 or 5G-Tronic, which received a manual shift mode in 1999 (722.6). In 2000, with the T-Model only remaining on sale, the RWD C 240 was available with the optional six-speed G56 manual from the W203.