2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will come exclusively with four-cylinder engines

It's no secret there's an all-new 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class debuting this week, and we have interesting news on the newest C-Class. As it turns out, the next-gen C-Class will arrive exclusively with four-cylinder engines, but there's a catch.

You see, the 2022 Mercedes C-Class is the first classic Mercedes-Benz model to gain a fully electrified powertrain. In a recent interview with Automotive News Europe, Christian Früh, chief engineer of the new W206 C-Class, said that the German carmaker's existing plug-in hybrid technology enabled his team to create a four-cylinder engine with the smoothness and power output of a six-cylinder motor, all while improving fuel economy.

We're betting the incoming C-Class will have the brand's 48-volt EQ Boost Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) mild-hybrid system offering a slight power boost and energy recuperation, the latter allowing the vehicle to glide or coast on open highways with the gasoline engine turned off.

This means the last C-Class in America to have a standard V6 is the outgoing AMG C 43 with its turbocharged 3.0-liter mill. And since the new C-Class will strictly come with an electrified four-banger, the AMG C63 and C 63 S are the last high-performance AMG C-Class models to have a turbocharged V8.

However, this doesn't mean the new C-Class is destined for all-electrification. It's still built on top of Mercedes-Benz's Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) platform – the first Mercedes vehicle to do so when the platform was launched in 2014 – that is not designed to accommodate an all-electric powertrain.

According to Früh, force-fitting a battery pack and electric motor in the C-Class' existing architecture would present significant engineering challenges. But how about the brand's new Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) underpinning the incoming EQS electric luxury sedan? No, said Früh, because adapting the EVA platform in an electric C-Class will result in higher manufacturing costs.

We'll know more as the 2022 Mercedes C-Class debuts online on February 23, 2021. You can watch the livestream event on the Mercedes Me digital platform starting at 2:00 pm CEST and 8:00 AM EST.