Sporting a facelift so subtle not even the designers at Mercedes are likely to be able to distinguish it from last year's car, photos and details on the 2012 C-Class have just been released ahead of the car's official debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
The most noteworthy changes are, however, under the hood with the addition of a new 4-cylinder base engine as well as a more potent top-trim V6. The new C250 model is powered by a direct-injection 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes as solid 201-hp and 229 ft-lbs of torque. As a result the new car is a little short on power when compared to the mid-level 3.0-liter V6, but it does have more torque and delivers substantially better fuel economy with a 24-mpg combined rating, as compared to 20-mpg for the C300. Any reason to buy the C300 then goes completely out the window when you realize both cars hit 60-mph in 7.1 seconds.
As for the top-level C350, it finally gets more power thanks to a direct-injection V6 engine that produces 302-hp and 273 ft-lbs of torque, up 34-hp and 15 ft-lbs respectively.
Changes to the exterior, while minimal, are evident, including new headlights with LED running lights and a new hood. Inside the changes are more dramatic with the C-Class adapting cues from the new E-Class's impressive interior. Like the E, the C-Class now get a list of extensive safety features like Attention Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist.
Check back for full details from the Detroit Auto Show with coverage starting January 10th, and in the mean time check out our Detroit Auto Show Preview here
More: 2012 Mercedes C-Class Gets More Powerful V6, New Turbocharged 4-Cylinder Model