The next generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class will reportedly undergo one of its biggest transformations since the three-pointed introduced the moniker in 1993 as replacement for the 190E.
According to Australia’s motoring.com.au, the W206 C-Class, which could bow as early as October next year at the Paris Motor Show, will be offered solely with a range of mild-hybrid petrol and diesel engines, as well as autonomous tech allegedly not yet even present in the next generation S-Class that is set to unveiling next year.
Despite having been spotted on numerous occasions since last year undergoing testing and decked out in full or partial black-and-white masking wrap, the Australian publication claims that the W206 will once again be underpinned by the existing MRA platform, but which will be made out of aluminium and lightweight steel to compensate for the hybrid system. An air suspension system will also be available on upper-end derivatives.
While Benz will continue to offer sedan, estate, coupe and cabriolet bodystyles, as well as the estate-based All-Terrain faux crossover, the new C-Class will reportedly no longer be available with six or eight cylinders on bread-and-butter models, with the publication reporting that the electrically assisted petrol and diesel motors will be capped at four-cylinders.
As before, a plug-in hybrid will be offered with a claimed all-electric range of between 50 km to 100 km. AMG models will also continue but with the C43 becoming the C53 and using the mild-hybrid 3.0-litre straight-six engine already in-use in the E53, CLS 53 and the GLE 450, while the C63 (pictured) will retain the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine, albeit with four-wheel-drive traction and with a Drift mode like the A45/CLA45.
The technology side will however be the most radical with the same array of features as the current E-Class, but with the inclusion of a sound system-based camera system, improved ultra-sonic parking sensors with a longer range and LiDar that will result in the W206 being capable of Level 3 autonomous driving, meaning the ability to steer itself at up to 130 km/h.
Expect more details to emerge in the coming months leading up to the W206’s official unveiling next year.