When the C-Class predecessor launched, it was known as the 190 and carried a four-cylinder powerplant underhood. Mercedes is now considering a return to four-pots in the U.S. market as the price of fuel continues to soar. MBZ is reportedly already testing a 1.4-liter carrying a supercharger, which is strange when you consider there's already a 1.8-liter blown four-cylinder on sale in Europe. The C180 Kompressor seems like it'd be the easy way to get fours back into the U.S. lineup, but Mercedes must have some other ideas driving the decision to develop the smaller 1.4.

Even stranger, while the talk is all about forced induction, the end result will supposedly be underwhelming in the power department, so Mercedes is planning on ramping up the glitter without delivering the gold. Perceived performance is the euphemism for a car that comes with a loud exhaust and twitchy throttle, and that's what Mercedes engineers think it will take to make the car palatable to U.S. buyers. Gee, leave the sound insulation out so that 25 mph feels like 100 and we're sold! Seriously, is this a late April Fool's joke? "Perceived performance?" A car that's not in denial about being thrifty might be more successful than a poseur.

[Source: Inside Line]