Heavily disguised prototypes of Mercedes-Benz's fourth-gen C-class have been spied
3 February 2012

The first heavily disguised prototypes of Mercedes-Benz’s fourth-generation C-class saloon have hit public roads in Germany for durability testing, just over 18 months before it is planned to make its world premiere at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show.

Codenamed W205, the new four door heads an expanded four-strong line-up that will once again be aiming to steal the executive car crown from the standard-setting BMW 3-series and other pretenders to its crown, including the Audi A4, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Ford Mondeo and a long-rumoured small Jaguar.

See spy pictures of the fourth-gen Mercedes-Benz C-class

The basis for the new car is Mercedes-Benz’s MRA platform. It 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.

The new C-class 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.

Unlike the first-generation CLC which used rear wheel drive C-class underpinnings, though, the new model will get a combination of front- and four-wheel drive and share its platform with the upcoming third-generation A-class and recently introduced second-generation B-class.

Greg Kable

See all the latest Mercedes reviews, news and video

Join the debate


22 February 2012

[quote Autocar] Dimensionally, the new C-class is set to grow [/quote]


There's a surprise, a new model getting bigger!



It's all about the twisties........

22 February 2012

I'm following this with interest - I'll probably be getting one when they come out.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune
  • BMW X2
    This is the new BMW X2
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    Doesn’t deliver many typical crossover selling points but looks perky, handles keenly and is well capable of winning over your latent cynic
  • First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The newest version of Rolls-Royce's flagship model sets new standards for opulence and luxury whether you're driving it or being driven in it
  • Used BMW M135i
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    We have bought a used BMW M135i to see how far we can improve this rear-wheel-drive hot hatch
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
    First Drive
    19 March 2018
    The Mercedes-Benz E-Class could be all the estate car you’ll ever want — or it could be overkill. Let’s see which...