Are you the C43 or C53? Or just a regular C-Class with the AMG Package?

It was November 2018 when our spies caught the next-generation Mercedes C-Class Sedan for the first time, and today we can finally bring you images of the hotter AMG model. How do we know it’s a prototype optimized by the boys and girls in Affalterbach? Just look at the size of the front brakes, with large calipers hugging the drilled rotors.

We’ve seen that grid pattern camouflage applied at the front before, specifically on AMG models that went on to receive the Panamericana grille for the production cars. It could mean this C-Class prototype has it as well, although the test vehicle doesn’t look nearly as aggressive as you’d expect the C63 to be. That leads us to believe we’re looking at a lesser Mercedes-AMG C-Class model, either a C43 or a C53.

Gallery: New Mercedes-AMG C-Class Sedan spy photos

The dual exhausts hiding underneath the back of the car will likely be integrated into the rear bumper where we’re expecting quad finishers as it is the case with the current C43 model. The prototype did seem to have the production bits and pieces, but chances are it combined components from several variants of the next C-Class.

While we can’t quite see what’s going on inside the cabin, the tablet-like infotainment system does not seem to be sticking out from the dashboard. It can only mean the next C-Class will have the MBUX integrated into the center console to follow its bigger brothers, the E-Class and S-Class. An updated MRA platform and a possible size increase should free up more room inside the cabin, especially since Mercedes now also sells an A-Class Sedan and the company certainly wants to avoid the risk of overlap.

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It will be interesting to learn what will power the next C43 (or is it C53?), but with Mercedes-AMG announcing all of its products coming out from 2021 will be electrified, it means the hot sedan will have a hybrid setup. Whether that will be based around a four- or six-cylinder engine remains to be seen. One way to go would be to take the 416-horsepower 2.0-liter “M139” from the new “45” models and throw in an electric motor, but we’re just guessing here. Another scenario is adapting the electrified inline-six of the “53” cars.

Whatever the case may be, there’s a good chance the “AMG Lite” model will have considerably more power than the current C43 with its 385 hp and 384 pound-feet (520 Newton-meters) of torque generated by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6.

Of course, we're not excluding the possibility of this being merely a Benz C-Class with an AMG package, which would explain the plain exhaust tips.

Look for the regular C-Class to debut before the year’s end, with the AMGs to follow in 2021.

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