by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

PREVIEW: Next generation C-Class to be lighter, more spacious, more powerful and more intelligent

The 205 generation C-Class enters the scene next year during spring following the official premiere scheduled for NAIAS Detroit 2014. Planned to be manfuactured in an integrated production network consisting of the Bremen plant (Germany), Tuscaloosa (Alabama), East London (South Africa) and Beijing (China), the new Mercedes-Benz mid-sized premium models will substantially grow in size, in addition to weighing less and offering more in terms of efficiency, driving pleasure and automotive intelligence.

The introduction of the CLA just beneath the current C-Class series is determining a substantial upscale movement of the next generation of the mid-sized portfolio of models. The Limousine (W 205) will be unveiled in January next year at Detroit and will be followed in the course of the year by three new models: the wagon T-Modell (S 205) in spring, the C-Coupe (C 205) during summer and the C-Cabrio (A 205) in autumn.

All the four new models will feature a new platform called MRA (Mercedes Rearwheel Architecture), which also adds almost 10 centimeters to the overall length of the car leading it to 4.70 meters. The wheelbase will also grow, meaning the cabin will be even more spacious than on the present model. Moving the new C-Class closer to the E-Class emphasizes the importance of this high-volume model for the future growth strategy of Mercedes-Benz.

While the W 205 and S 205 will feature a more classic design (with two different faces for the Elegance and Avantgarde equipment lines), the C 205 and A 205 will display a highly dynamic, distinct identity congruent with their sporty character. The design language will consist of progressive lines and shapes, with a striking, hallmark front end boasting bigger headlights with LED technology (set to create impressive inner graphics) and a more upright radiator grille. The laser-based light technology (premiered on the Concept GLA in April) could be launched for the new C-Class towards 2016 and thus offer even more advanced performance compared to the already wide-spreading LED technology.

The underpinnings comprise a completely newly engineered technical platform for a precise driving and maximum comfort. An important highlight is the lightweight construction, making use of composite materials, aluminium and high-strength steel for the construction of the bodyshell and chassis which eventually substantially reduces the kerb weight of the car. Furthermore, the extensive package of assistance systems grouped under the slogan "Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive" will take care to ensure an unprecedented level of safety, predictability and dynamism.

Most of the technical upgrades will come from the new S-Class (more details --> HERE), which the new C-Class also resembles in terms of the design philosophy. Expect a fully revised interior architecture, boasting enhanced functionality, a quality feel and an upscale atmosphere. Connectivity will be brought to a new level thanks to the implementation of the new generation COMAND Online, also borrowed from the brand's luxury flagship. From 2015, the touchpad system and the Head Up Display could also become available in the C-Class after their launch in the S-Class.

Moreover, the new powertrain will be joined by several new and frugal diesel and petrol engine, as well as current efficiency-optimized powerplants. BlueEFFICIENCY package will be available across the entire range and, like in the cases of the A-Class and CLA, Mercedes-Benz will also offer a special, environmentally friendly version for the new C-Class (most likely for the C 180 and C 200 CDI variants). An important piece that also improves fuel economy is the reportedly low drag coefficient (Cd), rumored to be near 0.23 - 0.24 similar to other new models released by the German constructor lately.

Diesels will mostly consist of BlueTEC choices for the range-topping variants (C 250 BlueTEC, C 300 BlueTEC and C 350 BlueTEC). From the 2015 model year, the introduction of a BlueTEC HYBRID version is also possible (C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID), as is the launch of a petrol-based hybrid model (C 400 HYBRID). The high-end model, untill the reveal of the new generation C 63 AMG planned for late 2014, will be the C 400 BlueEFFICIENCY with V6 power and 333 hp. The supersport C-Class will be available for the four body versions and will be powered by an all new 4.0-litre 8-cylinder engine featuring biturbocharging and direct injection and capable of producing near 465 hp. The all new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission will be offered as standard equipment for the range-topping powerplant choices beginning with autumn next year, after the introduction on the E-Class (December 2013) and the new S-Class (mid-2014)

Image Credits: Autobild /

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