In Depth

Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2021: S-Class tech, specs, prices and release

New version of the mid-size saloon is in the works - here’s what we know so far

Mercedes-Benz fans are gearing up for the marque’s next-generation C-Class saloon, amid reports that the upcoming car will feature a range of hi-tech features from the range-topping S-Class. 

According to Autocar, the Stuttgart-based motoring giant will be equipping the new C-Class with “many of the developments being readied for the new S-Class”, including “advanced autonomous” driving systems and hybrid powertrains.

Mercedes will be hoping that a hi-tech overhaul will win back customers, as a “universal gravitation” towards SUVs has resulted in a “sharp drop in C-Class sales in recent years”, the magazine says. 

Given that C-Class development mules spotted at the Nurburgring in German have all been covered in thick camouflage, indicating that the new model is still in development, would-be buyers may have to wait a while longer.

But there are plenty of reports and spy shots to pick apart in the meantime.

Price and release

Although the new C-Class will be packed with technology, WhatCar? predicts that prices won’t “increase dramatically”, instead coming in at around £33,000.

The saloon is not expected to go on sale until 2021, after debuting public at a motor show towards the end of next year.

Design and interior

From what can be seen of the car in the latest crop of spy shots from photographers stationed at the Nurburgring, the new C-Class is unlikely to look radically different to the current-generation model (pictured top). 

“Although its exterior features a new-look front end with more angular headlights, the new car’s proportions, dimensions and overall silhouette remain very close to those of the model it replaces,” says Autocar.

However, the car is built on the company’s MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) platform. Company insiders told the mag that the “more advanced” architecture supports 48V systems, suggesting that a plug-in hybrid model may be on the cards.

Spy shots of the cabin, meanwhile, reveal that the new C-Class will get a two digital displays that are “similarly positioned to how they’ll sit in the all-new S-Class”, although are slightly smaller than those set to appear on the next flagship, says US-based news site Carscoops

The steering wheel is also similar to that of the S-Class, featuring a “cut-out” for a head-up display and a trio of air vents sat above the infotainment screen.

Engine and performance

According to Evo, the new C-Class will be available with a range of four and six-cylinder engines, with rear-wheel drive offered as standard. Four-wheel drive should be available as an optional extra. 

There will also be “multiple” hybrid models from which to choose, including a plug-in variant with a zero-emission range of about 30 miles, WhatCar? reports. More engine choices are set to join the line-up, some with better battery range, after the car’s release.

Finally, new versions of the C43 and C63 from Mercedes’ performance arm AMG are also on the cards, with the latter getting a 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine producing 550bhp.

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