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Mercedes-Benz has been spotted testing the next- generation C-class again, and it’s due to arrive sometime in 2020 with hot AMG models arriving a year or so later. The new C-class won’t differ markedly from the current car in concept. It will incorporate all the latest Mercedes infotainment tech and electrified powertrains, with a fresh look and uprated engines.
What we do know is that it’ll share similar underpinnings with the current model. The brand has built on the same MRA platform and combines a similar layout of longitudinally mounted four- and six-cylinder engines with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive will be optional as now. We also expect a wider integration of electrification in mild, parallel and plug-in hybrid models depending on the specification and market.
Of most importance though, the new C-class will also accommodate AMG’s suite of performance engines. These include the turbocharged straight- six as well as V8 units. As in AMG’s new ‘53’ AMG models, the straight-six will be turbocharged. Additionally, its ancillaries will be powered from an electric motor rather than directly off the engine. We expect the same brilliant M177 4-litre ‘hot-V’ V8 engine to top the range. However, there is an associated risk with fitting V8 engines in this type of car. This is because the latest round of emissions regulations is due to tighten yet further. Nevertheless, this engine’s is currently in use across the AMG range, not to mention Aston Martin. This means that Mercedes-Benz has invested heavily to ensure the engine is future-proofed, at least in the short term.
AMG’s recent trend of appropriating all-wheel drive to its models might also make it into the next round of AMG C-class models. This is especially true if the rival BMW M3/M4 also adopts all-wheel drive, which is a distinct possibility. Inside, we suspect the C-class will draw inspiration from the new A-class. We’re also guessing that Merc’s now trademark dual-screen set-up will surely be combined with the latest MBUX interface and touchpads.
From what we can see though, the model appears to have taken an evolutionary path. It shares similar proportions and window-line with the current car. Slimmer headlights will likely frame a large grille opening, while at the rear new lighting clusters will bleed into the boot lid, differing from today’s one-piece upright units. Since Mercedes-Benz launched the current C-class in 2014, we don’t expect to see the new model till 2021. At that point, we should also have a new BMW M3/M4, its chief competitor.