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Mercedes-Benz C-Class in 2013

The C-Class powered by a V-6 engine is currently the smallest model offered by Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. but that’s all about to change as the automaker is planning a raft of new, more efficient models to help meet more stringent fuel economy regulations as well as increase market share. Mercedes-Benz is in fact predicting that a family of compact models based on its next-generation B-Class platform, as well as new coupe and convertible derivatives of its next C-Class, will help boost sales in the U.S. by as much as 30 percent over the next five years.

The information comes from Mercedes’ U.S. chief Ernst Lieb who revealed to Automotive News that the automaker is planning a compact car onslaught starting from 2012. The first models will be based on the next-generation B-Class and will include a new coupe, crossover and sedan. A high-performance AMG variant is also planned.

These will be followed by an all-new C-Class in 2013. This new model will be built in the U.S. and will also spawn coupe and convertible variants. Note that a new coupe based on the current C-Class will go on sale next year as well.

Mercedes-Benz is primarily targeting BMW, specifically the 1- and 3-Series families. The automaker will also be offering a new range of four-cylinder units, both gasoline and diesel.

The biggest hurdle, however, remains pricing. The cheapest C-Class is currently listed at $33,600 so any model positioned below this car, such as the new B-Class derivatives, will have to be even cheaper than that. Expect pricing to be comparable with the BMW 1-Series, which itself starts at just over $29,000 in the U.S.

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