2012 Mercedes C-Class Preview

The baby Mercedes-Benz has only been around in its updated form for a new few years and it’s had quite a hard life during this time. It’s been praised, it’s been loathed, but most of all, it’s been playing second fiddle to theBMW 3-Series and that just won’t fly over at Stuttgart.

To try and close the gap, Mercedes is reworking theC-Class for 2011 and according to AutoBild, the photos you see here are the first official shots of the new sedan. Whether that’s true for not, we had to jump on it. We can immediately tell that some the exterior bits have been reworked with some S-Class and CLS elements, but the exterior was never the problem now was it.

The reason that the Merc always fell behind the BMW was down to its overall driving experience. The BMW was the king of precision driving and now the C-Class needs to catch up.

Has it done it?

UPDATED 12/22/10: We’ve updated the photo gallery of the new Mercedes C-Class with some photos of the car in both sedan and estate form. It took them a while to release it, but hey, at least they’re finally out. Check out the gallery and let us know what you think.

Hit the jump to find out.

Source: MB Passion

Exterior and Interior

Mercedes C-Class Preview

A closer look to these new images will reveal a new front-bumper and newly formed, L-shaped headlamps, like the ones in the new E-Class. The grille has also been slightly retouched, and the diffuser unit seems to inspired by the current SL-Class.

Inside, the cabin has been completely revamped with a reworked dashboard, a new instrument panel, and an all-new display for the COMAND system. It will also feature a new steering wheel similar to the one in the CLS-Class. We would imagine that better and far softer materials were used in order to improve interior quality, as this has been the source of some criticisms with Mercedes.

Mercedes C-Class Preview

Engine Line-up

Under the hood Mercedes will place a series of upgraded engines as used in the E-Class series. This may include six-cylinder petrol engines producing up to 292 hp and diesel versions producing up to 231 hp.

As previously stated, the biggest change will be made for the C63 AMG. The current V8 engine will be dropped and it will be replaced by the engine found in the S63 AMG: a new AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine. However, don’t expect the same 571 HP output as in the S-Class.

Competition

The facelift will raise the bar for the competition, at least a little bit. But since all of the competitors for the C-Class have seen updates for the 2011 model year, then we would have to say that Mercedes Mercedes just succeeded at keeping up. Nonetheless, Mercedes is looking at competing with the Infiniti G sedan, the Lexus ES, the Cadillac CTS, and the BMW 3-Series.

Mercedes C-Class Preview

The Mercedes-Benz’s ultimate rival will be the BMW 3-Series. The Bavarian sedan might get a few new features here and there for 2011, but a completely revised version is coming for 2012. As far as driving dynamics go, the BMW is the best on the road and it’s going to take one hell of a an effort to trump it.

Audi rivals the C-Class with theA4 . The Audi wins this war with a better interior and a second in the line driving dynamics. The Mercedes and the Audi are much closer in comparison and it’s based on personal choice at this point, where as the BMW is just miles ahead.

When Can I Buy One?

The facelift version of the C-Class will go on sale in March 2011. Expect to pay the usual price for it ($33,600 - $39,750), with maybe $1000-$2000 more than the 2010 model for the upgrades.

Mercedes C-Class Preview

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