2015 Mercedes-Benz C-class Sedan to Debut in Detroit, Convertible Next Year

Amid the muscle cars of the Motor City at the upcoming Detroit auto show, Mercedes-Benz will pull the wraps off the next-generation C-class sedan. The move is mostly driven by the calendar, we’ve been told, but with production of the new C taking place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, an American debut can’t hurt.

We’ve also learned that Americans will have a choice of three engines in the new C-class (excluding the next AMG model): a turbocharged inline-four with roughly 210 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, a 195-hp, 369-lb-ft diesel four from the E250 BlueTec, and a range-topping V-6. It’s the last engine on which details are thinnest, but the intimation is that it’ll be the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter motor from the upcoming E400. All three will be mated to seven-speed automatics at the time of launch—a new nine-speed automatic transmission could trickle down in a few years—and all-wheel-drive should be available across the board.

Some time next year, Mercedes will introduce a C-class convertible and wagon—we’ve spied test mules of the former—but only the drop-top will sold here. Benz execs saw virtually no interest in the wagon from consumer focus groups, so will instead stick with the C-class–based GLK crossover—which itself will be replaced with a next-generation car in the coming years.

First Drive: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series
Comparison Test: 2012 BMW M3 Coupe vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe
First Drive: 2015 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet

Even with the arrival of the CLA-class, an exec told us, Mercedes isn’t planning to crank up prices on the new C-class. The cars appeal to different audiences, and as it stands, the CLA pretty much tops out price-wise where the C begins.

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