Several next-gen Mercedes-Benz C-Class prototypes have been caught on camera in Böblingen (near Stuttgart) multiple times conducting testing ahead of a 2014 launch.

Several next-gen Mercedes-Benz C-Class prototypes have been caught on camera in Böblingen (near Stuttgart) multiple times conducting testing ahead of a 2014 launch.

The upcoming C-Class (W205) has been confirmed for a January 2014 arrival at the Detroit Auto Show, but we already had an early look at the car in April when we published several spy photos of an undisguised prototype. In terms of design, the car will look like a shrunken S-Class which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Riding on the MRA platform, the new C-Class is expected to grow in length by 100mm (80mm in wheelbase) so it should be about 4700mm long. Despite the added length, the base C160 model will be around 70 kg (154 lbs) lighter than the outgoing model and will weigh less than 1,380 kg (3,042 lbs). Trunk capacity will most likely grow to around 500 liters (17.6 cubic feet).

It will go on sale in August 2014 and will be followed in 2015 by a coupe and a convertible, as well as a plug-in hybrid model which is rumored to have a 27 bhp (20 kW) electric motor. The hybrid C-Class will be able to run on gasoline, electric power or a combination of the two.

Conventional-powered versions will be offered with a variety of four-cylinder and V6 engines, like a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter with 153 bhp (114 kW), a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter rated at 181 bhp (135 kW), 208 bhp (155 kW) and 248 bhp (185 kW). A 4-cylinder 2.2-liter CDI will probably be offered with 168 bhp (125 kW), 201 bhp (150 kW) and 228 bhp (170 kW). A beefier V6 3.0-liter generating 328 bhp (245 kW) is also expected, while the range-topping AMG version will allegedly have a V8 4.0-liter delivering somewhere in the region of 456 bhp (340 kW).

Be part of something big

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class spotted near Stuttgart [videos]