Now that Mercedes has completed its rollout of four-door C-Class variants, it's time to subtract two doors and get down to the business of sport. The sedan smashed the entry-level luxury paradigm by being good enough to (maybe) keep you from aspiring to an S-Class. The C Coupe, on the other hand, wants to keep you from looking sideways, to certain BMW and Audi competitors. Driving Notes An obvious feature it shares with the sedan is its sense of maturity. The sheetmetal and proportions convey gravitas. The long-hood-into-short-tail that is The Mercedes Way gets another handsome showing here. There's an additional 2.4 inches between the bulkhead and the front axle – although to our eye that trim, curt rear end is overwhelmed by the visual weight of the rest of the car. It looks better on the AMG C63, where flared wheel arches put more emphasis in back. The front and rear of the coupe are altered from the sedan design. The crease under the headlights curves down into the lower intakes forming a continuous design element to the bottom of the curved lower lip. In back, the minimal taillights of the sedan get stretched across the fenders and the wider, straighter trunk of the coupe. The two-door is 1.5 inches lower than the sedan. Although the they share the same width, the coupe looks wider from the rear. Other markets will get a choice of four gasoline and two diesel engines. In the United States, we'll get the rear-wheel-drive C300 next spring with its 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, same as in the sedan, with a seven-speed automatic transmission. After that will come a 4Matic version, and in summer comes the AMG C63. Mercedes hasn't broached the subject yet but our market should follow the sedan route, skipping the standard C400 to get the C450 AMG 4Matic with 362 hp and 384 lb-ft. At some point in the undisclosed future, the coupe will be upgraded to the nine-speed automatic. The interior is a delight, but that's what we're used to here – the materials look and feel excellent. The COMAND screen placement is still a hot-button issue, and we think the bezel-to-screen ratio is out of whack. Buyers don't seem to care. This year, the C-Class is just a couple thousand units behind the barn-busting 2013 numbers. In spite of the additional swoopiness versus the previous coupe, the larger size means larger interior dimensions everywhere – trunk space grows by 20 percent. Even rear headroom grows by one-seventh of an inch, but let's not pretend – back legroom is scarce. Mercedes didn't list a number for it in the press materials. We only have Euro-spec numbers for comparison, but the C300 is listed at 3,443 pounds. That puts it 52 pounds under the US-spec weight of the BMW 4 Series Coupe and 140 pounds under the US Audi-spec A5. It has more horsepower and torque than both competitors, but it's a little slower on the 0-60 mph …
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|Power||241 @ 5550 rpm|
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