What It Is: Mercedes-Benz's next-gen C-class, the fifth in line of a succession that began in 1982 with the W201 Mercedes-Benz 190. Along with the E-class, the smaller C-class is a vital pillar of the Mercedes lineup. Stylistically, the C will incorporate many of the corporate cues introduced by Benz’s barrage of new offerings this year in the 2014 E-class, 2014 CLA-class, and 2014 S-class. The front end is dominated by a large grille, which can be specified with either the traditional star ornament on the hood or with a larger star placed in its center, accented by a pair of intimidating intakes.
Platform: The new C-class will be built on a new platform that will spawn sedan, coupe, convertible, high-roof people mover, and—at least in Europe—station wagon variants. Down the road, there will be more commonality than ever between the C-class and the next generation of the E-class. This architecture will be rear-wheel drive as standard, but all-wheel drive will be available.
Powertrains: Next-gen Cs will be powered by a range of four-, six-, and eight-cylinder engines. The brand’s upcoming turbo four is set to make up to 250 horsepower, while the uplevel model, the C400, will house the same turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 as will power the upcoming E400. The monster AMG C-class will lose its glorious M156 6.2-liter V-8, being replaced by a downsized and turbocharged V-8. We expect a diesel variant to arrive stateside, and we’re hearing the brand will come to market with diesel-hybrid and plug-in-hybrid options. Initially, a six-speed manual and a seven-speed automatic will be available, but look for a nine-speed auto to be introduced a few years after launch.
Competition: Audi A4, BMW 3-series, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS.
Thanks to: Car and Driver