What at first appears to be a brand-new Mercedes C-Class Estate wearing the AMG Line bodykit is in fact an all-new C-Class variant, targeting the fast petrol-powered compact execs like the BMW 335i Touring and Audi S4 Avant. It’s the Mercedes C450 AMG Sport 4Matic, and it’ll bridge the gap between the C400 and flagship C63 AMG models in the burgeoning C-Class range.
The C450 is expected to deploy an uprated version of the 328bhp, 420Nm twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine used in the new Mercedes SL400 roadster. The same engine sees duty in the new C-Class as the lesser C400 model, though it isn’t offered in the UK.
The C450 is expected to produce over 350bhp, outgunning the ageing Audi S4’s supercharged V6 (328bhp) and the current BMW 335i’s turbocharged straight-six (302bhp). Jaguar is also set to enter the fray with a 335bhp XE-S in 2015, using the supercharged V6 currently used in the F-Type sports car.
At launch in mid-2015, it’s thought the C450 will be offered with rear-wheel drive only. Towards the end of 2015, UK cars will get an all-wheel drive option, as in the case of the undisguised car scooped here.
Betrayed by the tailgate’s badge, this C450 runs Mercedes’ adaptive all-wheel drive system, known as 4Matic. The 4x4 drivetrain will also be optionally available across the new C-Class stable including on the new C63 AMG, which will pack a 480bhp punch courtesy of an all-new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine. The downsized V8 is shared with Mercedes-AMG’s upcoming Porsche 911 rival, the AMG GT.
The C450 wears AMG-like jewellery in the form of double-section tailpipes (not squared-off like true AMG halo cars) and two-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels. Upgraded drilled brake rotors are visible within the new wheels. The C450 also wears a silver contrast-colour front air dam and rear diffuser, and more extrovert side skirts than a regular C-Class.
Meanwhile, Mercedes confirmed to Auto Express at the recent unveiling of the new C-Class Estate that there are more spin-off body styles in the pipeline. The company is actively considering a sleek new ‘four-door coupe’ to plug the price gulf between the CLA and CLS model.
A C-Class based GLK crossover and new two-door C-Class coupe to fight the BMW 4-Series have also been green-lighted. The extra variants are expected to follow the same drivetrain hierarchy, including souped-up AMG range-toppers.