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This is the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class

No, really. It is. New bumpers, lights and hybrid engines refresh Merc’s best-selling model

It’s facelift season. Yep, following the refreshed Skoda Fabia, Citroen C4 Cactus and bling-bling Maybach (new bumpers and lights, you know the score), Mercedes has facelifted its C-Class saloon and estate for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

Seriously. Look again. It really is different. There’s a redesigned bumper, new - though pretty much exactly the same - LED headlights, a restyled rear diffuser, fancy grille (on the AMG-line), a new pneumatic seat pump and two new colours. Two! One green, the other silver.

Set to go on sale in the UK later this year, it’s still on the same platform as the current car but has a revised interior that borrows techy bits from its bigger E and S-Class brothers.

You’ve got a new digital display but the possibility to enhance your screenage with a couple of options. Lower-spec C-Class models get a standard seven-inch display, but with the tick of an options box, this will turn into a 16:9 widescreen with a 10.25-inch panel, like Merc’s posher models. This can be operated by the touch-sensitive panels on the steering wheel, just like the E-Class and S-Class.

It’s even partially autonomous and has clever safety tech that debuted on the S-Class. Then there’s ‘Energising Comfort Control’; a new system which uses the air-conditioning, some perfume, the seat heating, ventilation and massage functions to improve driver well-being. A good thing if you’re an Uber driver, prone to flatulence, or both.

Now, let’s talk engines. Merc is remaining tight-lipped for now but don’t be surprised to see the C-Class continue Merc’s plug-in hybrid rampage with some EQ-Power-badged models. One diesel (the 300de) and one petrol (300e) that should arrive late this year/early 2019. But there’ll also be non-hybrid motors; expect Merc’s ‘OM654’ 2.0-litre diesel from the E-Class to be dropped in and badged as a C200, C220 and C300. As for petrols, there will be a new entry-level, sub £30k C180 petrol – a 1.6-litre turbocharged motor from SLC 180, with around 155bhp – C200 and C300. There’ll also be the possibility to get two and four-wheel drive on the bigger engines.

What about the juicy AMG stuff? Expect a semi-skimmed ‘43’ (that’s the 3.0-litre V6 engine) at this year’s Geneva show. The the full-fat ‘63’ (the raucous 4.0-litre V8) will likely be at the New York show.

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