Mercedes BLK takes aim at 1-series

To hear some people talk, you'd be forgiven for thinking BMW's 1-Series has already won the compact luxury segment and retired to the hearth with a glass of celebratory Riesling. And it hasn't even come to America yet. In spite of the 1's much hyped and much anticipated arrival, it will still have to earn its place by taking on challengers. Mercedes' entrant is called the BLK, based on the C-Class and offered in three body styles: coupe, hatch, and convertible. While the moniker makes sense within Mercedes naming system, it still makes us think of a sandwich.

More details after the jump.

[Source: Auto Express]

The front is anything but a reminder of the previous attempt at a little C-Class-based coupe, and thank heavens for that. Sporting the new C's creased and curvy face, it should look good coming down the road. The profile looks like it could also provide a nice convergence of lines. The back end, however, albeit nicely sculpted, is a tad too reminiscent of The Coupe We'd Rather Forget. Perhaps the rendering doesn't do it justice, and in the flesh its muscularity will change our minds... a long shot, but possible.

In addition to this pictured coupe, there will be hatchback and convertible versions as well. Engines will come from the C range, up to a 3.5-liter V6 in the BLT BLK 350. The first two versions, the coupe and hatchback, are expected in 2011.

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