The clouds around the 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class are still as thick as those on a morning in Borneo, but Autocar has worked up a passel of details on the Mercedes that will no longer be an entry-level offering when it arrives. With the CLA sliding into the Mercedes starter-kit slot, the C-Class will, according to insiders, "discard the idea that the C-class is a car bought by your grandfather" and "meet the expectations of a younger generation of buyers, both visually and technically."
That means throwing out almost everything that we're used to with the current car. Looks-wise the 2014 sedan is expected to be "far more dramatic" and more sporty. It will also be larger; the CLA is predicted to be a couple of inches longer than the current C-Class, so the coming C-Class will grow by nearly four inches on its MRA platform, with three inches of that growth between the wheels. If accurate, the new length would make it longer than the BMW 3 Series and about the same as the Audi A4. Track and overall width likewise expand, the result being the cabin will provide more room in every direction. Still, the new architecture should make it lighter than the current car.
Standard engines will come in the familiar mix of four-cylinders and V6s in gas and diesel forms, spanning the chart from 120 to 330 horsepower to and all equipped with stop/start tech and brake energy recuperation. Top of the line will be the AMG version with the new twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8, expected to be available in every iteration of the C-Class: sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible. They will be mounted lower and further rearward than at present, and there are rumors of a plug-in hybrid with an 18-mile all-electric range. Those powerplants will be worked through a six-speed manual or updated seven-speed automatic.
The hard-edged side is predicted to get a boost from a switch to a double-wishbone suspension in front and an "extensively redesigned" multi-link setup in back, with all models getting adaptive damping. Outside of spy shots, we don't think we'll see it until the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.