Mercedes-Benz just took the wraps off its facelifted C-Class range, which enters the market as a 2012 model and comes with a host of modifications to make it more fuel efficient. Namely, the introduction of a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the first four the C-Class has been available within the U.S. for several years.
However, at the same time, the automaker is also deep in the development of the next-generation C-Class, which is expected to bow into the market in late 2013 as a 2014 model. While Mercedes-Benz has already confirmed that U.S. delivered versions of its new C-Class sedan will be built at its plant in Alabama, a new report suggests that nearly every model in the new 2014 lineup will have a hybrid component.
Citing unnamed "company sources," Autocar says the next-gen C-Class will feature hybrid drivetrains in almost every model and that the only cars exempted will be the smallest diesel-powered cars, which have historically been reserved for non-U.S. markets.
Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHYBRID lithium-ion battery pack
No word on how the new hybrid systems will operate but according to the report, smaller engines, including four- and possibly three-cylinder mills, are tipped as the basis for the hybrids, with the electric portions of the drivetrains used to pickup up the slack in power and performance.
Of course, fuel efficiency gains won’t just be brought about by hybrid technology. Cylinder deactivation technology, even on small four-cylinder engines, is expected to feature, as is reduced internal friction of the engine, gearbox and wheel bearings. Another avenue being investigated is weight reduction, with increased use of aluminum and carbon fiber almost certain to feature.
For more details on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, head over to MotorAuthority for a more extensive report, which also includes some computer-generated renderings of the new car.