Still puzzled as to why Mercedes-Benz killed off the CLK a couple of years ago? Puzzle no more, friend, for your answer is here. You see, the CLK was designed to slot in between the C-Class and E-Class sedan and wagon ranges, and was both preceded and succeeded by the E-Class Coupe. When Mercedes went back to the old formula, it made room for the vehicle you see here: the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe.
The subject of many spy shots and leaked photos, the new C-Class Coupe has finally been officially revealed by the factory ahead of its official debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. There, the new Benz coupe will arrive with two engine options: The Mercedes-Benz C250 coupe gets the 1.8-liter direct-injected turbo four with 201 horsepower, while the C350 coupe is equipped with the 304-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6. Both are mated exclusively to Mercedes' 7-speed automatic transmission, which drives the rear wheels. 4Matic all-wheel drive will not be offered on the C-Class coupe. (The AMG version of the coupe is tipped to come along in another month at the New York Auto Show.)
So what else separates the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe from the sedan it's based on? Two fewer doors and a slightly lower roofline. That's about it. The C-Class coupe's wheelbase is the same, the front end is the same, the luxury touches and the cutting-edge electronic wizardry... it's all the C-Class we know, only coupier. Will that be enough to steal sales away from the likes of the BMW 3 Series coupe and Audi A5, both of which are more distinctly differentiated from their four-door compatriots? We'll find out once the two-doors hit showrooms, but for now, you can scope out the official details in the press release after the jump, along with the gallery of high-resolution images below.
The perfect shape: the C-Class Coupe
- In a class of its own: expressive, dramatic coupe design
- Drive and vigor: two powerful direct-injection engines to choose from
- Helping hand: numerous assistance systems available
- Connected: new generation of telematics
"By extending the C-Class portfolio, we are consciously targeting new customers," says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The new model is youthful, stylish and expressive. What we are offering is an exceptionally sporty way to enter the world of the Mercedes-Benz coupe."
Dramatic design with classic coupe proportions
From the side, the new coupe captivates the onlooker with its compact proportions, low silhouette (1.5 inches flatter than the sedan) with powerful shoulders and a narrow C-pillar in a classic three-box design. Typical coupe features include the short front overhang, long hood, steeply raked windshield and long, sloping roof. The greenhouse extends far beyond the rear axle to an aggressive short rear end.
While the wedge-shaped, sloping beltline provides a link to the C-Class sedan, its strong upsweep into the C-pillar is an entirely distinctive element. This part of the beltline trim moves sharply upwards to meet the roofline trim and not only adds an aggressive touch to the side windows but also enhances the powerful shoulders.
Front and rear: truly a coupe, truly C-Class
At the front, the new coupe shares the same styling as the latest C-Class sedan and yet still has its own personality. The front view is dominated by the prominent radiator grille surround including the bumper. The center air intake opens upwards, forming a visual base for the radiator grille, which has the double-louvre style typical of a coupe. Two chrome louvers extend on either side of the central star, tapering off at the outer edges and creating an aggressive, arrow-shaped horizontal sweep which gives the front end a pronounced V-shape.
This continues into the side sections which extend from beneath the headlamps and blend into the feature lines along the vehicle's length, thereby linking the front end with the sides. The side air intakes in the bumper featuring integrated horizontal daytime running lamps are positioned low, giving the coupe a road-hugging appearance. The shape of the clear-lens headlamps creates a dramatic impression, and acts together with the hood, radiator grille and bumper trim to reinforce the pronounced front section.
From the rear, the new C-Class Coupe looks athletically compact. The appearance of length is reduced by the flowing roof beyond the rear axle, steeply raked rear window and fluid C-pillars. A wide groove at the top of the trunk lid, which is based on the side panel, emphasizes the rear's compactness. Positioning the tail lights as far apart as possible emphasizes width. This particular impression of depth is achieved by a centrally located LED indicator, which appears to float in front of the red upper and lower lights with their more deeply set LEDs. Continuous, horizontal light-catching contours in the bumper further accentuate the broad, deep-set effect. A diffuser towards the bottom of the rear bumper between the tailpipe trim makes the rear end look lighter and gives the vehicle a distinctively sporty and dramatic quality.
Highest quality with exclusive color accents
The instrument panel features three tube rings with a metallic finish, the new three-spoke steering wheel features a flat bottom and comes standard with shift paddles. The surfaces of the controls are finely detailed and metallic. The stepped top of the dashboard also accommodates the standard 5.8-inch central display and continues onto the front passenger side as a discreet light-catching contour. The central, trapezoidal air vents and the round vents on the outside are highlighted in detail by metallic trim. The control panel of the new center stack has silver-colored keys, while the combination of matte keys, high-gloss areas and a new controller knob design underline the high quality of the interior.
A large section of trim highlights the dashboard, extending from the center air vents across the front passenger side to the outer air vent, emphasizing the interior's generous proportions. Aluminum trim is standard on the C250 Coupe, while the C350 Coupe features rich Burl Walnut. Unique Ash Olive Matte Wood Trim is optionally available.
The C-Class Coupe is a fully fledged four-seater featuring four sporty, comfortable seats with integrated headrests. If desired, the backrests in the rear can be folded to extend the storage area.
Enhanced telematics with more ease of operation and attractive good looks
The C-Class Coupe features the new telematics generation. Major new features include greater operating convenience, larger displays, phone book transfer, wireless Bluetooth audio streaming and a USB interface now located in the center armrest.
Integrated services include SIRIUS weather information and a special destination search via Google, as well as the option of downloading a route that has been previously configured on a PC using Google Maps and sent to the car. The optional COMAND navigation system also has a new 3D display with city views.
Driving routes covered can now be recorded and recalled later, specific personal destinations can be saved or imported via an SD card and four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map including an especially economical route.
Plenty of performance, low fuel consumption
There is a choice of two new direct-injection gasoline engines to power the C-Class Coupe and both models are equipped with a more fuel efficient 7-speed automatic transmission.
The V6 gasoline engine in the C350 features the efficient BlueDIRECT injection and delivers 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Average combined fuel consumption is 22 mpg (estimated). The four-cylinder gasoline engine in the C250 also features direct injection and is turbocharged, offering high performance and exemplary economy.
* Please note, estimated figures.
Chassis: agile handling and a high level of comfort
The standard AGILITY CONTROL suspension complements the dynamic engines to perfection. This is based on an amplitude-dependent damping system: when driving normally with low shock absorber impulses, the damping forces are automatically reduced for a noticeable improvement in road noise and tire vibration – but without any compromise in handling safety. When shock absorber impulses increase, for example when cornering at speed or performing evasive maneuvers, the maximum damping forces are set and the car is effectively stabilized. The AGILITY CONTROL suspension is complemented by a rack-and-pinion steering system.
Precision suspension: three-link front axle, multi-link independent rear suspension
The front axle has a three-link construction with McPherson spring struts. The lower control arm consists of two separate elements which serve as torque and cross struts and are both made of aluminum. The third link in the front suspension is the tie rod which connects the transverse steering gear to the wheels. The reinforced anti-roll bar is connected to the spring strut which is likewise actively involved in directing the front wheels.
With multi-link independent rear suspension, the wheel is attached to five flexibly mounted, independently acting control arms which restrict five of the available spatial movements: thanks to this intelligent control arm construction each rear wheel basically retains freedom of movement in one plane only, namely during controlled compression and rebound.
Driver assistance systems provide warnings and intervene
With nine airbags as standard, belt tensioners and belt-force limiters for all seats, the C-Class Coupe has extensive safety features. The airbags, which can deploy in milliseconds in the event of an accident, include front, side and pelvic airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag on the driver's side, and headbags. The side protection system – comprising headbag and thoraxbag – optimizes the level of protection afforded to individual parts of the body.
With a number of driving assistance systems ranging from standard ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to optional Lane Keeping Assist, the coupe provides a comprehensive level of driver support and protection. The assistance systems are based on the latest radar, camera and sensor technology, and cover frequent accident causes such as distraction, fatigue and darkness.
Assistance systems at a glance:
- Anti-lock braking system ABS
- Adaptive Highbeam Assist
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Blind Spot Assist
- ATTENTION ASSIST
- Electronic Stability Program ESP®
- Bi-Xenon headlights with active curve illumination
- PARKTRONIC with Parking Guidance