As you may recall, at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show we had our first look at the Mercedes-Benz C-Class L , the most recent and longest member of the brand-new C-Class family. The sedan will go on sale later this year, but, to our disappointment, it won’t make it to the U.S., being a China-exclusive model.
Today, a report coming from Autocar says the C-Class lineup is set to expand even more, with a performance-oriented sedan to join the ranks next year. This time we’re not talking about yet another AMG-prepped midsize, but a vehicle that will fill the large gap between the C400 model and the brawny C63 AMG that should break cover later in 2014.
Details are scarce at the time of this writing, but the aforementioned source states the new model will be launched with the C450 AMG Sport moniker and with a 3.0-liter V-6 engine under the hood. In order for the sportier C-Class to bridge the wide gap between the 329-horsepower C400 and the 450-horsepower (estimated) C63 AMG , the Germans will increase the V-6’s output to about 372 horses.
As the name suggests, the C450 is not an official AMG model, but it’s being developed in collaboration with the company’s performance arm. It appears that the C450 AMG Sport will also be offered in an optional 4MATIC configuration, which is very likely to cross the Pond into North American dealerships.
Note: Mercedes C63 AMG rendering shown here.
Click past the jump to read more about the upcoming Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sport.
With 372 horses on tap, the future Mercedes C450 AMG Sport falls right between the BMW 335i and the M3 , which deliver 300 and 425 horsepower respectively. Likewise, the Cadillac ATS ’ range-topping 3.6-liter V-6 engine can’t push more than 321 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, while the highly anticipated ATS-V is expected to blow past the 400-horsepower barrier into C63 AMG territory.
This leaves the Stuttgart-built sedan to compete only against the slightly more powerful Audi S4, although an apples for apples comparison is not at hand.
With the Audi RS4 no longer available with a sedan body since 2012, the S4 is the current range-topping mid-size in the United States. Its supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI (V-6) engine churns 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque through either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed manual S-tronic transmission. The oomph is just enough to catapult the sedan from 0 to 60 mph in about 4.7 seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 155 miles per hour.
Power aside, the Audi S4 received its most recent facelift in 2012 and its exterior design isn’t exactly fresh . However, the exclusive body features it has over the standard A4 , such as the front grille and the bumper, are likely to keep it attractive in the eyes of Audi enthusiasts.
The 2014 S4 is available in only two trims. The Premium Plus starts from $48,100, while the Prestige model wears a $54,000 sticker. The latter is slightly more expensive than the current Mercedes-Benz C350 Sport, but prices should level up when the C450 AMG Sport arrives.