Key exterior design elements include uniquely shaped headlights, a bold grille with diamond-shaped inserts, prominent front wheel arch flares, strong structure to the flanks, heavily plunging roofline, prominent hunches over the rear wheel arches, a generously tapered glasshouse, acutely angled rear window, high-set boot lid, horizontally mounted tail-lights and trapezoidal tailpipes integrated into the lower section of the rear bumper.
To underscore its sporting intent, the new coupé receives a more rakish glasshouse than its four-door sibling. Like the A5 and 4 Series, it retains a B-pillar in the interest of structure integrity. The doors, described by project leader Christian Früh as among the longest on any existing Mercedes-Benz model, are frameless.
Based on the latest evolution of the Mercedes-Benz MRA (modular rear architecture) platform, the C-Class Coupé has grown in dimensions. The new model is 95mm longer and 40mm wider than its predecessor, leading to what Mercedes-Benz describes as “more shoulder room, elbow room and head room in all seats”. Some 60mm of the added length is concentrated between the front axle and firewall, providing the basis for a more angled windscreen.
The interior uses the same stylish dashboard and switchgear as the latest C-Class saloon. However, the new C-Class Coupé receives unique front sports seats with integral headrests as well as two individual rear seats. There is also a standard automatic belt feeder similar to that used by the E-Class coupé.
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that a Bluetooth-compatible entertainment system allowing internet capability through a mobile phone will be standard.
Also on board is Mercedes-Benz’s Attention Assist function, which warns the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness. It is joined by Collision Prevention Assist, which is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds up to 124mph in combination with a further standard system called Adaptive Brake Assist.
As part of Mercedes-Benz's efforts to establish itself at the forefront of autonomous driving technology, the new model also comes with an optional Distronic Plus system, part of the £1695 Driver’s Assistance Package. It enables the new C-Class Coupé to autonomously steer in order to remain in its lane at speeds between 0 and 124mph.
The C-Class Coupé will come with the choice of two petrol engines at launch. The entry-level C200 produces 181bhp while the C300 manages 241bhp. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on the C200; a seven-speed automatic is standard on the C300 and an option on the C200.
Also available from the outset of sales in the UK will be a 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel engine with either 168bhp in the C220d or 201bhp in the C250d. The C220d gets a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. A nine-speed automatic ‘box is an option on the C220d and standard on the C250d.
Compared with the old C-Class Coupé, the new engines are claimed to consume up to 27% less fuel.
Alongside standard rear-wheel drive, the C-Class Coupé will also be available with an optional 4Matic four-wheel drive in combination with selected engines.
The C-Class Coupé rides on the same four-link front and five-link rear suspension system used by the C-Class saloon, albeit with unique elastokinematic properties and a 15mm lower ride height. It comes as standard with variable damping control in either a comfort orientated set-up or a so-called sports package, which receives firmer springs and dampers and Mercedes-Benz’s direct-steer steering system for added agility.
The standard wheels are 17in in diameter, but buyers can opt for larger 18 or 19in rims.
As with the four-door, the new two-door car can also be ordered with an optional AirMatic suspension featuring air springs both front and rear.
Mercedes has also announced range-topping Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupé models powered by a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine.
The C63 produces 469bhp and accelerates to 62mph in 4.0secs while the C63 S produces 503bhp and knocks 0.1 seconds of the 0-62mph time. The C63 starts at £61,160 and the C63 S will set you back £66,910.
New Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé - first ride, first published 13 July 2015
We’re in a lay-by not far south of Mercedes-Benz’s vast research and development centre in Germany when we’re introduced to the second-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé.
When the new model reaches the UK later this year, Mercedes-Benz is confident the C-Class Coupé will see off any challenge from the Audi A5 and BMW 4 Series.
While all the various scoop photographs of the coupé we’ve seen lately have shown it wearing a fairly comprehensive disguise, the prototype Christian Früh, the head of C-Class development, has brought along to our low-key rendezvous sports a minimum of camouflage around its shapely rear.
Longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, the new Mercedes-Benz looks terrific in the soft evening light, having adopted more athletic proportions along with a considerably more muscular stance than the car it replaces in the Mercedes-Benz line-up.
Like the first-generation C-Class Coupé, the new model continues to lean heavily on the C-Class saloon for styling inspiration, and nowhere is this more evident than in the heavily structured look of its predominantly aluminium body.
The visual commonality between the two is most apparent around the front end, with the new two-door sharing exactly the same look, including its headlights, grille, bonnet and wings, as its year-old four-door sibling through to the leading edge of its A-pillars. From there on back, though, the two depart quite radically.
Key exterior design elements unique to the new Mercedes include a relatively upright windscreen, long frameless doors, fixed B-pillars, a heavily plunging roofline, prominent hunches over the rear wheel arches, a generously tapered glasshouse, acutely angled rear window, high-set bootlid, horizontally mounted tail-lights and trapezoidal tailpipes integrated into the lower section of the rear bumper.
The overall appearance is quite reminiscent of that of the recently introduced S-Class Coupé, most notably towards the rear.
It is not just on the outside where Mercedes' efforts at ramping up the inherent sportiness of its new model are concentrated. It has also altered various elements of the interior in a bid to provide the C-Class Coupé with its own unique feel.
Newly developed shell-style front seats with integrated headrests are mounted 20mm lower than the more mundane looking front seats used by the C-Class saloon.
They are heavily contoured affairs that boast loads of support and provide a true touch of sportiness in terms of the firmness of their cushioning and relative closeness to the road.
While cost concerns ruled out the new C-Class Coupé adopting a pillarless design like that used by the E-Class Coupé, it nevertheless receives a belt-bringer mechanism for the first time.
As the door is closed, an arm holding the seatbelt silently motors forward at shoulder height to negate the need for the front seat occupants to reach backwards as they did on the old model.
The rear of the prototype we are privy to features two individual seats separated by a centre console, effectively making it a two-plus-two. To accommodate the plunging roofline and heavy tapering at the rear of the glasshouse, the rear seats of the C-Class Coupé have been moved forward and inwards from the position they occupy in the C-Class saloon to provide sufficient headroom and shoulder room.
That said, the rear is not exactly easy to enter, and nor is it particularly roomy – fine for children under double-digit years, we’d suggest, but not ideally suited to adults over longer journeys
The development budget for the C-Class Coupé didn’t stretch to a new dashboard or features such as unique trims, but frankly they aren’t necessary. The flowing facia from the C-Class saloon and its high-quality materials is sufficiently stylish and inviting enough to make the cabin of the new Mercedes-Benz more desirable than that of either the existing A5 or 4 Series.
Owing to the drop in seat height, you immediately feel more encapsulated in the new two-door than you do in its four-door sibling, further adding to the overall feeling of sportiness. With a larger boot than the old C-Class Coupé, it’s also more practical than before.
Initial impressions of the aural qualities and dynamic potential of the new car are encouraging, too. With Früh, who was responsible for the development of the both the SLS Coupé and Roadster during an earlier stint at Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance car off-shoot, doing the driving duties, we’re treated to an extended run over a variety of different roads.
When it reaches the UK, the C-Class Coupé will offer a wide range of petrol and diesel engines ranging from 154bhp in a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder in a C200 Coupé base model through to a 503bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 in a range-topping C63 AMG Coupé.
Among the gearbox choices will be a six-speed manual and either a seven or nine-speed automatic. As with the C-Class saloon, buyers will also get to choose between standard rear-wheel drive or optional 4Matic four-wheel drive.
The prototype that Früh has turned up in is a mid-range C300 Coupé model. It runs a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine tuned to deliver 241bhp and 273lb ft of torque.
A press of the dashboard-mounted starter button and a touch of the sports exhaust button on the high centre console confirms Mercedes’s efforts at ratcheting up the sporting appeal of the new car. With a blip of the throttle, a raspy timbre is released as a flap opens to increase the volume of the exhaust.
From the off, the new C-Class Coupé both feels and sounds more spirited than the latest C-Class saloon with which shares its mechanical package. With a kerb weight pared by some 90kg over the old C-Class Coupé despite an increase in external dimensions, it is brisk and smooth under acceleration.
From the passenger seat, it is also clear mechanical refinement and overall suppression of road noise has been improved at typical motorway cruising speeds, further enhancing the aural qualities of the tuned exhaust.
The new C-Class Coupé sits on the same modular MRA (modular rear architecture) underpinnings as the latest C-Class saloon. The two cars also share the same aluminium intensive chassis, with a common wheelbase and track widths on standard models providing a significantly larger footprint than that of the old C-Class Coupé.
In a bid to endow the new two-door with more determined driving traits than the four-door, Mercedes-Benz has fitted the car with uniquely tuned springs and dampers. “We’ve gone a fair bit firmer in rebound, but the ride remains compliant,” says Früh. Other changes to the suspension include larger diameter anti-roll bars and firmer bushings than those used by the C-Class saloon.
The revised suspension has been lowered by 15mm, giving the C-class Coupé a lower centre of gravity than C-Class saloon. The prototype we rode in was also shod on optional 19-inch wheels shod with 225/40 profile front and 2255/35 profile rear tyres, giving it impressive lateral purchase. The overall impression is of a car with eager turn in traits, low levels of body roll and solid levels of mid-corner grip.
We’ll have to wait until we get behind the wheel ourselves later this year to make a definitive judgement on the new C-Class Coupé, but our first impressions from the passenger seat suggest it is a more stylish, roomier and dynamically adept proposition than its predecessor. This new Coupé will also be used as the basis for a new C-Class Cabriolet, which is due to go on sale in 2016.
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