This is new fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz C-class saloon, revealed in limited detail more than two months before it is due to make its world debut at the Detroit motor show.
Although the new BMW 3-series and Audi A4 rival is yet to be officially unveiled, Mercedes-Benz says the new C-class will be a significantly more advanced car than its predecessor in terms of construction, with a “best in class” weight figure and a level of structural integrity that it describes as being “unparalleled” in its class.
Among its features is a new lightweight body structure that uses a newly developed aluminium hybrid construction process that Mercedes-Benz claims will see the new C-class saloon hit the scales up to 100kg below its predecessor, depending on the engine it uses.
This, in turn, is said to contribute to a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption on certain models without any loss in power.
The existing C-class saloon tips the scales at 1395kg in C180 CGI guise. At the other end of spectrum is the C300 CDI, which is claimed to weigh 1660kg.
The reduction in weight is credited to a new structure that uses up to 48 per cent aluminium – up from 9 per cent on the outgoing third-generation C-class. The amount of hot formed steel and high strength steel has also risen by 5 per cent and 1 per cent to 8 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
The new C-class body structure consists of nine primary cast components, with the suspension mounted on aluminium die cast elements that are claimed to be significantly more rigid than the steel components used today. New developed hydro-formed tube and aluminium cast components are claimed to provide the new saloon with outstanding test results in the Euro NCAP and US NCAP test procedures.