New Mercedes C-Class Coupe
Following on from the sneak pictures of a Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé testing at Hockenheim, here's the not-wholly-unexpected announcement from Stuttgart that it will be doing Coupé versions of the regular C-Class too.
The rear-end styling borrows more than a hint of S-Class Coupé. It has similar, wide light clusters and the number plate located in the bumper (rather than the boot lid) that is the hallmark of the new Merc coupé family styling - you can see the same sort of treatment on the GLE Coupé too. The new C-Class Coupé looks good in profile, thanks to a swoopy roof and 60mm of extra metal between the front axle and bulkhead, giving it a long nose. It has frameless doors and a 15mm suspension drop on its more practical saloon and estate siblings.
It looks a lot like the cabin of a C-Class saloon inside, although that's no bad thing - unless you're someone who doesn't like Merc's current obsession with the fixed-position tablet screen perching centre-top of the dash. We think this display unit is better integrated in the C-Class than in other Benzes, though.
Mercedes tell is that the C-Class Coupé has 'integral sports seats' designed specifically for the car, with an automatic belt-feeder for front-seat occupants. Stuttgart also says the new Coupé has an 80mm longer wheelbase than its predecessor, with overall length up 95mm and width increased by 40mm. All this translates to more shoulder-, elbow- and headroom inside. Various option packs, trim lines and interior colours allow for further differentiation of the C-Class Coupé.
Mercedes begins the technical nitty-gritty by talking about the Coupé's four-link front, five-link rear suspension, promising reduced road noise and tyre vibration to improve its refinement. As standard, it will come with steel springs, which can be specified in 'comfort' Agility Control spec or Sports suspension with tauter springs and dampers. This latter set-up also includes Sports Direct-Steer. Above the steel specifications is Airmatic air suspension, which includes the five-mode Dynamic Select switch within for the driver. Stuttgart says the new C-Class Coupé is therefore more agile and fun to steer, yet also more comfortable than its predecessor.
The engines are familiar four-cylinder lumps (excluding the 4.0-litre V8 found in the aforementioned C 63 Coupé) borrowed from the rest of the C-Class range, with four petrol options and two diesels. The 1.6-litre turbocharged four in the C 180 knocks out 156hp, while there are three models spun off one 2.0-litre forced induction unit - the 184hp C 200, the 211hp C 250 and the 245hp C 300. The 2.1-litre diesel is available in 170- or 204hp trims, although Mercedes says it has 'enhanced' this unit so maybe it'll be a bit quieter now, as it is in the Mercedes GLC reviewed recently. As a range, the Coupé is up to 27 per cent more economical than its predecessor, thanks in part to stop-start across the line-up.
Aluminium is extensively used in the construction of the C-Class Coupé, with the wings, bonnet and boot lid made of the stuff, while a low co-efficient of drag of 0.26 ensures the two-door Merc cuts through the air with ease. An unholy amount of driving assistance, safety and comfort technology will be optional across the Coupé range.
Irish specifications and prices have yet to be announced, but we expect first cars to arrive right at the end of this year, following a world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, said: "Our new C-Class Coupé continues the philosophy of our exciting coupés. It combines thrilling design with agile sportiness and modern luxury. The C-Class Coupé therefore clearly pledges itself to stylish driving enjoyment."