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Just in time for Christmas, the 2011 Mercedes C-Class has leaked to the web ahead of its debut at North American International Auto Show.

Destined to recapture the entry-level luxury spotlight, the updated model features a new front fascia, an aluminum hood, and restyled headlights. Out back, changes are relatively minor but include a revised bumper and LED tail lights.

While the exterior tweaks are somewhat questionable, the interior has been completely revamped to mimic the E-Class. Notable changes include a new dashboard, a revised steering wheel (from the CLS), updated controls, and a redesigned instrument cluster. Furthermore, thanks to a generous helping of aluminum (or wood) trim, the cabin no longer is a sea of black plastic.

In the tech department, there are five new driver assistance options (Attention Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Park Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Blind Spot Assist) and an updated COMAND system.

Under the hood, three engines will be available in the United States. The big news is the addition of a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 201 hp (204 PS / 150kW) and 229 lb-ft (310 Nm) of torque. It enables the sedan to accelerate from 0-60 mpg in 7.1 seconds and return a combined 24 mpg.  Alternatively, the C350 adopts the new 3.5-liter V6 which churns out 302 hp (225 kW / 306 PS) and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque.

The facelifted C-Class will be launched in Europe next month and US sales are scheduled for the summer.

Check out the press release for additional information

Gallery: 2012 Mercedes C-Class facelift revealed [video]

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