Mercedes will add a second sports coupe to its range in June with a new C-Class based two-door, priced from around £30k.
The spiritual successor to the CLK will compete head-on with the BMW 3-series coupe and Audi A5, which have dominated the market since the CLK was dropped in 2009.
Under the skin, the new C-Class coupe shares a platform with the revised C-Class saloon and at 4590mm long is the same length, too. The two-door, however, is clad in sleeker-looking sheetmetal with a 41mm lower roofline.
Key new styling details are a rising beltline and a unique “upsweep” in the base of the third window, which Merc says “adds a sporty flourish and enhances the coupe’s powerful shoulders”.
Standard UK spec will include an AMG Sports pack with lowered suspension, 18inch alloys and bodykit. An AMG range-topper is slated for launch in September, possibly after a NY Show debut in April.
Unusually, the coupe is tipped to be powered by a different AMG powerplant to the saloon — the latest 418bhp 5.5-litre non-turbo V8. The four-door sticks with the trusty 6.2 V8.
In June five engines — two diesel and three petrol — will make up the range. The £30k entry-level C180 features a 152bhp four-cylinder 1.8 petrol equipped with a six-speed manual ’box. The range will rise to around £38k for the 302bhp 350CGI V6.
Other engines are a 161bhp 220CDI, 197bhp 250CDi and 197bhp 250CGi, with a new seven-speed auto optional. With common engines and similar dimensions it’ll be interesting to see how the C- and E-Class coupes shape up.
The C-Class will be cheaper engine-for-engine, around £1k, and will suffer slightly on accommodation, but not boot size. At 450 litres they share identical boot volumes.
The gap in interior quality will close, too, with a new interior inspired by the E-Class appearing in the smaller coupe. Merc expects the two to appeal to different drivers, the C- to 35 to 45-year olds, the E- to a more mature audience.