Earlier this year the fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz C-class was spied testing, and now an early test mule for the AMG performance variant has been caught on camera.
The AMG-fettled chassis testing mule is based on the current C63 AMG, but appears to have a wider front track, longer wheelbase and revised front bumper.
As with the E63 AMG and other performance variants in the Mercedes range, the successor to the C63 AMG is destined to be powered by a twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 in place of the current 6.2-litre unit.
The standard C-class has also been spotted again, more than a year before it is due to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show.
Codenamed W205, the new four door is built on Mercedes-Benz’s MRA platform, which is flexible enough to provide the basis for a whole raft of upcoming models, ranging from the C-class all the way to the S-class. Among its developments is a completely redesigned suspension system.
Although this test car doesn’t offer any clues to the appearance of the next C-class, it is set to make a big step stylistically. Gone is the rather staid appearance of today’s model, replaced by a far more progressive look heavily influenced by the F800 Style concept car as part of Mercedes-Benz’s efforts to attract a younger buyer audience.
Key elements are set to include a so-called ‘soft nose’ influenced by the CLS, more angular LED imbued headlamps, a heavily contoured bonnet, larger wheel houses capable of accepting wheels up to 20 inch in diameter, a more heavily raked windscreen, higher shoulder line, greater structure in the flanks, rounded turret, greater tumblehome and a notchback-style rear end with an angled boot line and horizontal LED tail lamps.
Dimensionally, the new C-class is set to grow, owing in part to Mercedes-Benz’s decision to alter the direction of the CLC, which will be introduced in 2013 as a four-door coupe style car boasting much the same dimensions as today’s C-class.
The next Mercedes-Benz C-class is expected to go on sale in 2014, with the AMG performance version following in 2015.