The Mercedes-Benz C-Class line-up will grow to include models without a direct predecessor, according to Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche. Among this tipped to join the line-up are a cabriolet version and a sport coupé to rival the BMW 3 Series GT.
“We grew the A-Class family from two models before to five now, and there will be additional products without predecessors in the C-Class line-up,” Zetsche revealed at the Detroit motor show.
The C-Class is the first Mercedes to be spun off the firm’s modular new rear-drive MRA platform, an architecture that allows greater freedom of body styles.
“You have freedom in the platform with proportions and dimensions,” design chief Gorden Wagener told Autocar, “so you can create some pretty diverse cars from that.”
Wagener in particular flagged up the C-Class Coupé as the “coolest” model in the new line-up. “You’ll say wow, and love it,” said Wagener.
Designing the first model off the platform was a particular challenge, according to Wagener, as you’re “not just defining a car, but 10, 15, 20 other cars – so you can’t mess it up”.
“A three-box saloon is also the toughest style of all to design,” he added. “A sports car is hard to get wrong, but you have to work on proportions a lot with saloons.”
Common design traits of the C-Class family will be the long-bonnet, cab backwards profile to emphasise it as rear-wheel drive, as well as the dropping line from the bonnet to help lengthen the bonnet and make the car’s weight sit over the rear wheels.