Mercedes-Benz’s C-class lineup will soon include a convertible as well as diesel- and hybrid-powered sedans when it is redesigned in 2014. The current C class lineup includes a sedan and a coupe, powered only by gasoline engines. The move is seen to match the C-class with its BMW 3 series rival, which comes in coupe, convertible, station wagon, diesel and hybrid versions.
Mercedes-Benz USA chief executive Steve Cannon told Automotive News in an interview that they were “fighting the 3 series with two arms tied behind our back,” and they will change that by expanding the C-class lineup. Mercedes will roll out the redesigned C-class sedan in August 2014 after unveiling it at the Detroit AutoShow in January.
While BMW remains the leader in the small luxury segment, Mercedes is shaving away its rival’s lead, especially after launching a C-class coupe in the fall of 2011.
Counting only sedan sales, the C class and 3 series are neck-to-neck. Mercedes sold 70,493 C-class sedans while BMW delivered 75,183 3-series sedans in 2012. However, when overall sales in the segment are taken into account, BMW sold 99,602 of the 3 series in 2012, while Mercedes only sold 81,697 of the C class.
BMW redesigned the 3-series sedan for the 2013 model year and will renamed the coupe and convertible as 4 series when they are redesigned for the 2014 model year. Mercedes, meanwhile, plans to launch a redesigned coupe in early 2015. Mercedes will also roll out the C-class convertible in 2015, to be followed by diesel and hybrid variants as well as an all-wheel drive option.
A spokesman for Mercedes said the carmaker will launch the C-class hybrid in 2015. Cannon remarked that the redesigned C-class station wagon, however, will not be available in the United States due to a low expected demand. Mercedes has not offered a wagon version of the C class in the US for over a decade.
On a strictly optical level, the all-new C-Class delineates a daring deviation from its forerunner. Its stunning, dramatic design radiates hedonistic clarity and stimulates reactions. Stylish elegance was a reference of ingenuity for the all-new saloon’s bodily lines and surfaces, whose symmetry and vigor generate a prompt impact. The designers have produced minimalist, perfectionist configurations for the C-Class which highlight its cutting-edge technology and engineering. The meticulously outlined surfaces intentionally exhibit a degree of tension, giving them an up-to-date and passionate character. Clear-cut lines and sculptural surfaces produce state-of-the-art light and shade effects.
All-new C-Class features automotive fascination by way of a modern design language. Bold and spirited highlights accentuate the innovative design style of the all-new C-Class and corroborate hedonistic clarity. The brand-new C-Class elucidates premium sophistication on an all new level.
From the side, we see an elongated bonnet, a passenger cabin set well back and short overhangs that establish the C-Class’ quintessential, well-adjusted Mercedes-Benz saloon sizes. Huge wheels highlight the rear and relay a trendy, athletic look.
The buyer has the option to get either one of two separate faces: athletic with centrally situated star or – for the PREMIER line only – the quintessential saloon radiator grille presenting the Mercedes star on the bonnet. The fins of the radiator grille can be shut totally to enhance the car’s Cd value, accentuating the prominence of this refined saloon in duly self-assured fashion.