New 2021 Mercedes C-Class caught on camera for the first time

New Mercedes C-Class saloon to feature more advanced infotainment system and several hybrid powertrains

A new Mercedes C-Class saloon is due with us in 2021 – and these spy shots give us our first hints of what we’ll see from the brand’s next BMW 3 Series challenger. 

While the testing mule is currently clothed in camouflage cladding, the overall shape suggests a fairly subtle design evolution from the current C-Class. The brand’s recent trend is towards cleaner overall shapes, so we can expect fewer character lines and creases across the car’s flanks.

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Both the window line and tailgate are set to take a similar form in order to maintain family ties with the outgoing model. A lower, more prominent grille will sit between headlights that are likely to move to full LED tech, and will take on a slimmer shape than those of the existing W205.

Under the skin, the new C-Class is set to ride on an updated version of the current car’s Modular Rear-wheel drive Architecture (MRA) system. Despite the name, there will be four-wheel drive variants, which could see the next hot AMG model distribute its power to all four wheels. It’ll likely be powered by the same 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo engine, but the extra traction off the line should improve the 0-62mph time.

Sitting below that model should be the AMG 53 – an Audi S4 rival powered by a straight-six petrol with 48-volt mild hybrid assistance. That’ll be one of several versions of the new C-Class with varying levels of electrical propulsion.

Expect a mild hybrid set-up to assist some of the more modestly-powered four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel units, and a plug-in option with a 30 mile-plus battery-powered range. A fully-electric saloon won’t sit within the C-Class line-up, but as a standalone model.

While the outside will stay largely similar to its predecessor, the cabin will be set for a complete redesign. The new look will be focused around a new infotainment system as, like the latest A-Class and GLE, the C-Class will feature the latest twin-screen MBUX infotainment setup. This will bring features like customisable digital dials, conversational voice controls through the ‘Hey Mercedes’ interface, and augmented navigation directions.

Click here to read our in-depth review of the current Mercedes C-Class…

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