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C-Class coupe a proper Merc again

2011-02-14 07:33

CLASS COMEBACK: A generous glass-to-sheet metal ratio and no embarrassing hatchback third door make the new C-Class coupe infinitely more elegant than Mercedes-Benz’s CLC.

Mercedes-Benz has built a proper C-Class coupe again.

Although only due for its public debut at the Geneva auto show in March, Mercedes-Benz released images and details of the car set to fill the void left by the CLK nameplate's retirement.

More importantly, this new car has to restore the reputation of Mercedes-Benz in the entry-level coupe market, as its current CLC coupe-hatch is hardly the best car ever to be badged with the three-pointed star.

C-CLASS STRUCTURE, E-CLASS TRIM?

It's based on the current C-Class platform but Mercedes' latest two-door offering has kept the sedan's wheelbase and overall length while sporting a 41mm lower roofline, as expected of its configuration.

The CLS-inspired quad-illumination headlights work well with the proportions and the new coupe looks very much like a slightly smaller CLK - which is the whole idea.

Unfortunately the new car will not inherit the CLK’s trademark pillarless side glass profile, a styling feature that did much to enhance the elegance of the CLK's design.

The car’s cabin architecture and texturing have drawn inspiration from the current E-Class coupe, which should trim the new two-door C-Class with an interior infinitely more appealing than the current CLC.

KEEN ON PERFORMANCE?

The new car will feature a range of engine options. Entry-level will be Mercedes-Benz’s regulation 110kW, 1.8-litre petrol engine driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. All other C-Class coupes will shift cogs courtesy of a seven-speed auto transmission.

Customers keen on performance can look towards the forced-induction 1.8-litre 250CGi (145kW) or unblown 225kW 350CGI V6. Economy-minded buyers have option on two diesel models, the 118kW 220CDI and 150kW 250CDi.

Affalterbach is expected to add a signature V8 to the range, yet this car is only set to debut in April at the New York auto show. Unusually, the new AMG-fettled C-Class coupe will feature a 310kW, 5.5-litre V8 in place of the 6.2-litre powering its AMG-badged sedan sibling or the new M157 twin-turbo V8.

With a similar interior and range of drivetrains, are Mercedes-Benz’s C- and E-Class two-door offerings perhaps positioned too close to each other? Final pricing will be the deciding factor, especially if one can get a C-Class coupe AMG for the price of an E-Class E350...
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