NEW YORK – Mercedes Benz USA confirms it once again will offer 4-cyl. C-Class models in the U.S. – with both gasoline and diesel powerplants in the plans.

The possibility of adding a 4-cyl. gasoline model to the C-Class line here first was raised by Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche in a November conference call with reporters to discuss the auto maker’s overall business outlook.

The smaller gasoline engine will make its U.S. return soon, says MBUSA President Ernst Lieb and the diesel will bow in the next-generation C-Class due for the ʼ12 model year, says MBUSA President Ernst Lieb.

The 4-cyl. diesel C-Class will be available prior to the planned production launch of the car at the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, AL. Daimler said earlier this month it would build C-Class sedans there beginning in 2014, with the plant ultimately accounting for 20% of the compact car’s worldwide production.

“We can't wait that long before bringing the 4-cyl. diesel engine in,” Lieb says.

Mercedes stopped offering a 4-cyl. gasoline engine in the U.S.-market C-Class after the ʼ05 model year, according to Ward’s data. The last 4-cyl. in the lineup was a supercharged 1.8L.