Now that BMW has made a play for the sports executive segment crown with the G20 3-Series, its arch nemesis from Stuttgart needs to retaliate with a brand new generation of the C-Class, which has already commenced testing on public roads.
This is the first ever all-new 2020 C-Class prototype spotted anywhere in the world, and as you can see, it’s fully camouflaged, with body cladding front and rear in order to help mask its true overall shape.
Will it be another baby S-Class?
When the fourth-generation W205 C-Class came out in 2014, it clearly resembled the current flagship W222 S-Class, which was put into production the previous year. While some people weren’t all that excited about Mercedes’ copy/paste design philosophy (it later went into the E-Class too), sales numbers told a much different story, showing just how successful you can be when you implement a very elegant exterior design.
It would have been highly unlikely for Mercedes to give up on that notion and make the 2020 C-Class look unlike the upcoming S-Class, which has been making the rounds for quite some time now, also under camouflage.
Bottom line, here’s what we see. We see a similar shoulder line to that of the next S-Class, and a low slung front fascia, also shared by both prototypes. The crease on the side of the car is a little more pronounced than on the current W205 model, and curbs upwards toward the rear wheel arch, sort of like on the 2019 A-Class and A-Class Sedan. The end result should of course be a product that’s been “sensually purified” by Mercedes’ design boffins.
Finally a dual-display setup in the C-Class?
Not so fast. A 2020 S-Class prototype spied earlier this year only had one single large display behind the steering wheel. This could mean a number of things. For example, Mercedes might look to implement a different type of infotainment display moving forward, perhaps one that’s positioned further back or more towards the center console, like Audi’s been doing recently. Of course, that prototype could have simply been an early development tester.
It’s doubtful that Mercedes would hold anything back with the new C-Class, so expect it to either feature whatever the upcoming S is getting inside, or at least the dual-screen setup we’ve all been waiting for.
With on-board tech, there should be plenty of it – in the sense that whatever the new G20 3-Series can do, the next C-Class will be able to replicate and probably even build upon, seen as how the ball is currently in Mercedes’ court.
You’ll still be able to get a diesel
Even though there haven’t been any rumblings regarding the 2020 C-Class’ engine range, it should still feature a wide array of petrol and diesel units, to go with plug-in hybrid versions. As for a fully electric model, reports indicate that Mercedes might save such an option for a future EQ sports executive saloon.
When can I order my all-new C-Class?
Seen as how the C-Class has always had a life cycle of roughly seven years, it’s unlikely that we’ll get to see the brand new car anytime before 2020 – and that’s if Mercedes rushes it a little bit (which they should).
Photo Credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for CarScoops
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