Mercedes Benz CLA 45 AMG Edition 1

Late last year we tested the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class – and what an amazing motor it turned out to be.

Our car had a ridiculously expensive list of options, but when that list includes a night vision camera and a self-steering system, who cares?

But apart from the myriad of sci-fi gadgets, the big Merc rode bumps and potholes like its suspension dampers were filled with duck down.

Now Mercedes is about to launch a new C-Class, and if it’s anything like as good as Merc’s flagship luxury saloon, punters lower down the chain are in for a treat.

It must be pretty nerve-wracking designing a replacement for your most popular model.

From its launch in 2007, the current C-Class has found 165,000 homes in the UK and 2.4 million globally, so getting it wrong would be bad news. So here’s what’s in store with the new car...

First of all, the new C-Class is bigger than the old one with an extra 95mm in length, 80mm in wheelbase and 40mm in width and, ­therefore, has both extra rear passenger legroom and a bigger boot.

Bigger, but lighter, thanks to the fact that as much as 50% of the car’s structure is made from aluminium, whereas in the current model that figure is a mere 10%. Merc’s designers have based the new C’s interior on the company’s sports car cabins