Editors Note: 9 New photos published on 18/08/2005. Original text and initial 3 photos published on 18/07/2005

Seen here testing somewhere in the Californian desert with massive cladding is the new 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.  Expect official unveiling at Geneva 2007 with sales starting shortly after.  Also expect the wagon to arrive 6 months later in the autumn or fall.  Our sources state a cabriolet soft-top and coupe are also planned which we can only interpret as being the new CLK-Class which is also based on the same platform.  Air suspension or active body control have been ruled out due to cost restraints.  Base engine will be a direct injection 4-cylinder 1.8 liter with varying horsepower from 150 to 190.  Horsepower for the 2.5 liter V6 and 3.5 liter V6 will be 210 to 270 respectively.  AMG's 5.4-litre will be revised with new horsepower rating up from today's 360 to 400-410hp to compete with the Audi RS4 and future BMW M3.  Also a 3.0 liter diesel is planned as well as the new iDrive-like operating concept found in the new S-Class.  4MATIC all-wheel-drive system will also remain available as well.

Gallery: 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Spy Photos