runs drives and looks excelent
Acton, Massachusetts, United States
runs drives and looks excelent
The new 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is upon us, launching initially in North America with turbocharged four-cylinder C300 4Matic and six-cylinder C400 4Matic flavors. But that's only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the vast array of powertrain configurations that will be offered in the new C-Class in markets around the world. Orders will soon be rolling in for gasoline, hybrid and diesel engines with four, six or eight cylinders, driving the rear wheels or all four, with the seven-speed automatic transmission soon to be replaced by a new nine-speed unit. But what enthusiasts are really looking forward to is the next C63 AMG.
As BMW has done with the M3 (and new M4), Mercedes has gradually ratcheted up the cylinder count in its AMG C-Class, graduating from the 3.6-liter V6 in the original C36 AMG to the 4.3-liter V8 in the C43 AMG, then the 5.5-liter V8 in the C55 AMG before going the distance with the sublime 6.2-liter V8 in the C63 AMG. Like its rivals, Mercedes is expected to use turbochargers as a replacement for displacement in the next model, but unlike its Bavarian rival, it won't be losing any cylinders in the process.
Skipping the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that has gone on to power other AMG models, the next C63 AMG is still expected to introduce a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing between 450 and 500 horsepower. It'll also reportedly keep the same seven-speed automatic transmission (instead of switching to the new nine-speed), but the jury's still out on whether it'll come with rear- or all-wheel drive (or offer buyers the choice). The downsized V8 - codenamed M177 - is then expected to find its way into other models, but the C-Class will be the first to get it when it arrives before the end of the new year ahead.
Mercedes-Benz seems to be expecting a lot of success from its front-wheel-drive CLA-Class. Automotive News is reporting that the sub-C-Class sedan could grow when its second generation arrives in 2018.
The current FWD platform for MB underpins the CLA, the B-Class, the GLA-Class, and the A-Class. The B-Class will arrive in North America as an EV for spring of 2014, while the production GLA crossover will arrive three to four months after that. The five-door A-Class won't be crossing The Pond. Sad faces all around.
According to AN, another model will be based on the front-drive architecture, but it won't be coming to the US market. Set to arrive next year, rumors are that it'll be a wagon version of the CLA, sort of like the ill-named five-door CLS Shooting Brake that is also a Europe-only item.
Mercedes-Benz is preparing a major product offensive to counteract lagging sales in the Chinese market, aiming 20 new or updated models at the People's Republic in the next two years, according to a report by Reuters. The plan is part of MB's so-called 2020 Initiative, which will see the Stuttgart-based manufacturer dump 2 billion Euros ($2.67 billion) into its Chinese market vehicles in a bid to boost sales to 300,000 units by 2015.
Were it to succeed, China would become the largest market for the Silver Arrow, outpacing Germany and the United States. Leading the charge will be the redesigned E-Class, which is set to launch in China this week. That will quickly be followed by the S-Class, and eventually by the GLA-Class in 2014.
Mercedes has struggled in China, especially relative to its German competition, BMW and Audi. Where Mercedes saw a mere four-percent increase in 2012 sales to 206,150 units, Audi was up a staggering 32 percent, while BMW's numbers jumped 41 percent. While some voices, according to Reuters, accuse Munich and Ingolstadt of boosting their numbers through hefty incentives, the fact remains that Mercedes was just walloped by its competitors last year.