New Mercedes-Benz C-Class to drop cylinders and add electrification


When Mercedes-Benz reveals its new C-Class on February 23 it will be missing some cylinders. The three-liter straight six is a goner and the range-topping V-8 in the AMG C63 is also no more. Instead, every C-Class will come with only four-cylinder internal combustion engines, supplemented with varying degrees of electrical oomph.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, the car’s designer, Chistian Fruh, says that despite the reduction in cylinders and overall engine capacity, the new four-cylinder motors won’t compromise on power or smooth running.

Downsizing the C-Class is mainly driven by the need to reduce emissions and improve efficiency, but it does have some benefits for the car’s styling and handling, Fruh says. “With the three-liter engine, the front end would have grown in length, not to mention the higher axle load and its impact on driving dynamics.”

Although adding electric power does increase weight overall, mainly thanks to the batteries, exactly where that mass sits can be controlled to avoid any detriment to the handling. A shorter nose is also possible, due to the more compact power unit. Although every new model is expected to come with hybrid technology, a pure electric C-Class is not in the cards for a while as the car has not been designed using the modular Electric Vehicle Architecture platform that underpins the larger E-Class and S-Class.

To find out more about the all-new C-Class, join us Tuesday morning when all will be revealed—or if you simply can’t wait, then take a look at a selection of leaked photos below.

There she is ladies and gentlemen. The compact S-Class.

This is the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W206). It has been leaked ahead of its official 23rd February launch.

— CarsInPixels (@cars_pixels) February 21, 2021

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