A potent Black Series version of the Mercedes C-class is completing final shakedown tests before going on sale early next year.
Seen here cold-weather testing in a four-door bodyshell — the first time a Black Series saloon has been mooted — the C-class is understood to be powered by a tweaked 6.2-litre AMG V8 engine, possibly with more than 520bhp.
The Black Series is rumoured to be ready for a Frankfurt show debut in September, where it could join a trio of Audi S-badged models as competition for the reveal of BMW’s new M5.
Giveaways on this prototype are the massively flared arches, extended front and rear tracks and four exhaust pipes.
Although the power output has still to be revealed, Mercedes has already raised the output of the 6.2 V8 to 520bhp in the DR250, a limited-run saloon created at the workshops at Mercedes-Benz World in Brooklands, Surrey.
It will be the fourth Black Series, previous models being based on the SLK, CLK and SL, the last carrying a massive £250k price. Both the SLK and SL had fixed roofs in place of the usual, folding metal designs.