Autocar UK has revealed a treasure trove of information on the fourth-gen Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which may receive its debut at next year’s Geneva show. No official images yet, so we have here some speculative renderings from automotive manipulator Theophilus Chin to give you an idea of what the car could look like, based on information and spyshots that’s found on the net so far.
The compact exec will be reborn with more sporting intent and will share very little with the current car. “We want once and for all to discard the idea that the C-Class is a car bought by your grandfather,” a Stuttgart-based official told Autocar UK. “We have gone to extensive lengths to ensure it will meet the expectations of a younger generation of buyers, both visually and technically.”
The smaller CLA-Class‘ arrival allows the C-Class to be pushed a little more upmarket. Sedan, estate, coupe and cabriolet bodystyles are planned, with the first two set to emerge in March 2014 and the rest the year after. All will get AMG versions, powered by a new twin-turbo 4.0 litre V8.
Autocar UK reports that the new car, codenamed W205, is 4.7 metres long, with a 2.82 metre wheelbase. Track width is up by 40 mm and overall width jumps by the same amount to 1.81 metres. Boot volume is increased to 485 litres.
Mercedes’ new MRA (Modular Rear-wheel drive Architecture) platform will debut on this car. It involves a lightweight monocoque structure made out of hot-formed steel that allows a base C160 model to weigh under 1.38 tonnes; bearing in mind the new car is larger all-round and more rigid.
A double wishbone set-up may take the place of the existing MacPherson struts up front, while out back the multi-link arrangement gets some refinement-improving tweaks.
There’ll be four-cylinder and V6 petrols ranging from a 184 hp turbocharged 2.0 litre to a 330 hp twin-turbo 3.0 litre, while the diesels should include an upgraded version of the familiar 2.1 litre engine in up to four states of tune, between 120 to 220 hp. Stop-start and regenerative braking will feature on all engines, bringing CO2 emissions down to around 20 grams per km.
Changes there are to the driveline architecture and driveshaft layout, which will allow, for the first time, production of the standard RWD and optional 4MATIC in both LHD and RHD. As a result, there’ll also be a RHD version of the next GLK-Class.
Transmission options for the W205 are a six-speed manual and an updated version of the 7G-TRONIC. The British publication says that a nine-speed auto is in the works, most probably for the car’s mid-cycle facelift that’s planned for 2017, after it trickles down through more upmarket Mercs.
There will be a new electromechanical steering system and a range of self-parking options will come with it. Adaptive damping control is standard across the range, while the safety tech found on the facelifted E-Class, including the stereo camera and collision prevention systems, is planned for the new C-Class.
Additionally, there’ll be Distronic Plus with Steering Assist and Brake Assist Plus with Junction Assist; these systems respectively keep the car in lane and boost braking to avoid collision with cross-flow traffic and pedestrians.
Planned for 2015 is a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid version of the C-Class. Sources have suggested to Autocar UK that the car will be capable of travelling up to 30 km on electric power alone.