2014 MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS
The all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is due for a global debut in the coming year, replacing the W204 range updated in 2011.
These latest spy photos show the new sedan testing in Europe, with a stripped-back camouflage layer now revealing more of the midsized sedan's look.
These latest photos reveal a curvier face and body, along with re-styled headlights that again draw inspiration from the larger S range.
From the A-pillar back, the new model wears a roofline not too dissimilar to the current model - an approach that BMW also took with its new 3 Series sedan.
With its debut still sometime off, we can only speculate as to which engines will drive the new C-Class, and we will likely see a hybrid model figure in the line-up.
Handling, performance and comfort will also be major points of improvement, in the hunt for new buyers.
“We want once and for all to discard the idea that the C-class is a car bought by your grandfather, ” an insider reportedly told Britain's Autocar.
“We have gone to extensive lengths to ensure it will meet the expectations of a younger generation of buyers, both visually and technically.”
The carmaker will also introduce a number of new and 'trickle-down' technologies to the C-Class, as it works to steal sales from BMW's top-selling 3 Series range.
Expect a range of new internet connectivity features and top-shelf safety systems, including new collision avoidance technology (also featured in the updated E-Class) and automatic parking.
The new C-Class will be larger and lighter - by around 70kg - riding on the carmaker's modular new rear-wheel-drive MRA platform, which will also sit under next-generation E-Class models.
The steel monocoque architecture focuses on weight-saving and rigidity, contributing to fuel efficiency and ehanced driving dynamics. According to Autocar, a new C 160 variant will weigh less than 1380kg.
Expect an advanced new double wishbone suspension design up front, and an overhauled multi-link arrangement at the rear.
Adaptive damping control is also expected, along with a new electro-mechanical steering system.
Engines in the new C-Class will sit lower and further back for improved centre of gravity and weight distribution.
Depending on specification, six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic transmissions will be available at launch, with Merc's new 9G-tronic transmission to follow.
Rear-wheel-drive will remain the standard configuration, but a new driveshaft layout will allow for 4Matic four-wheel-drive variants to be offered in both left- and right-hand-drive (an approach which also cover the next GLK SUV).
Sedan, Estate and Coupe bodystyles are confirmed, and a new Cabriolet model has been spied.
Of course, the top-shelf AMG model has also been spied testing, and reports suggest we can expect a smaller and lighter - but just as powerful - turbo V8 for the new midsized hero.
The new C-Class is expected to make its international debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
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