2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class spy shots
The new C Class is expected to go on sale sometime in 2014 and will, for the first time, be manufactured at Mercedes’ plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The prototype reveals that Mercedes’ designers are taking a safe route with the styling of the new car, following BMW’s lead with the F30 3-Series by retaining the previous model’s overall proportions but sharpening things up a bit.
There will be some sportier influences as well as character lines that hint at the automaker's past. We can see that the styling is also very similar to that seen on the upcoming 2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class, particularly at the rear.
The shape of the headlights appear more streamlined than the units on the current car, while the body keeps the classic wedge shape though appears stretched out a little. Those sweeping lines on its flanks are designed to mimic the curves of iconic Mercedes roadsters like the 540K.
As for the drivetrains, expect to see an eight- or possibly even a nine-speed automatic fitted. We’re unlikely to see a three-cylinder engine offered in the C Class anytime soon but a turbocharged 1.8-liter engine should make its way into the base model. A V-6 should remain, and will be joined by a range of diesel engines and a new hybrid. This hybrid model will likely pair a four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and gearbox.
Further down the track a high-performance AMG model will be launched, complete with a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine developing around 450 horsepower and possibly matched to an all-wheel-drive system. It's not clear if the new C63 AMG will feature the 5.5-liter mill currently offered by AMG or a new 4.0-liter unit said to be in the works.
While the 450-horsepower estimate may not have grown much compared to the current C63 AMG, performance should be improved thanks to a lighter overall structure. Like the 2013 SL Class, the new C Class will almost certainly benefit from plenty of aluminum--and some composite--structures in its construction. A more powerful S-Model, like that seen on the new 2014 E63 AMG, is likely also.
Finally, wagon and coupe models will return and will be joined for the first time by a new C Class Convertible.
Stay tuned for updates as development continues but in the meantime, click here to watch a spy video of an earlier prototype of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class.