Daimler has applied to reserve the ‘C 53’ nameplate with the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a move that falls in line with Mercedes-Benz’s efforts to replace the existing AMG 43 suffix with AMG 53. This, according to AutoGuide, signals the eventual arrival of the Mercedes-AMG C 53, which may either be introduced soon, or in the next W206 C-Class.

Currently, the AMG 53 line-up consists of the CLS 53, E 53 Coupe and E 53 Cabriolet, all of which are powered by the tristar’s new M256 3.0 litre inline-six petrol engine. It’s turbocharged to make 435 hp and 520 Nm of torque, and the petrol motor is augmented with an electric compressor. Expect the C 53 to share the same setup, though it may be downtuned as to not show up its bigger brothers (the C 43 has less power than the E 43).

In the larger 53 models, the engine also features a 48 V mild hybrid system and EQ Boost starter-alternator, the latter offering an additional 22 hp and 250 Nm. Power goes out to all four wheels (4Matic+) through a nine-speed AMG Speedshift TCT 9G automatic.

The new M256 3.0 litre straight-six as shown in the new CLS 53

This mild hybrid setup produces more power than the 3.0 twin-turbo V6 found in the C 43 (385 hp/520 Nm in its upgraded facelift form), so it makes sense to think that the C 53 will be positioned between the base C 43 and top-of-the-line C 63. Alternatively, Mercedes could also offer a non-AMG C 450, leaving two AMG-badged variants – C 53 and C 63 – to top the range.

Which direction would you prefer, dear readers?

GALLERY: W205 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic facelift