New Mercedes-Benz C-Class caught testing in Sweden

April 17, 2013 - The all-new Mercedes C-Class is edging closer to production, and the restless spy photographers have caught the BMW 3 Series rival undergoing winter testing in the arctic circle ahead of its debut early next year.

Even though these images were taken at very long range the styling is heavily influenced by the look of the new S-Class and A-Class. The wide grille and large three-pointed star emblem at the centre, plus a pair of oversized headlights both give the C-Class a stronger stance than its predecessor and in one of the close-up shots we can see it gets the same intricate headlights as the latest E-Class models.

At the back thicker C-pillars and a more sculptured boot both mirror the look of the new S-Class flagship while a pair of slender twin exhausts are neatly intergrated into the rear bumper. Taking on the current BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 will be no easy task but Mercedes has a wide range of models planned.

The C-Class saloon we be unveiled early next year and could appear as early as the 2014 Detroit Motor Show and released alongside the estate version by late summer with a coupe and convertible joining the range in 2015 to take on the BMW 4 Series and 4 Series convertible although these models will not use a different name than the standard car.

Expect a range of ultra-efficient petrol and diesel engines including a four-cylinder unit developed and built by Nissan - the first engine built in the U.S. to be used in a mainstream Mercedes - while a plug-in hybrid model is also planned to help take on the new Lexus IS 300h.