It has not been an easy life for the smallest Mercedes in the United States. It certainly hasn’t been as tough as the European A-Class, but the road to success for the C-Class has been paved with hardship and tough competition.
In that very segment, buyers will find one the best vehicles ever produced, the BMW 3-Series. Here is a vehicle that has dominated the German sports saloon segment with strong sales and a driving experience that is second to none. If that wasn’t enough to damn the C-Class, Audi has brought along the A4, a strong 3-Series rival that offers up a brilliant interior and build quality that has stood the test of time.
On top of all this, Mercedes has fallen behind in other areas as well. BMW offers their 3-Series in coupe form and Audi has the A5, but what does Mercedes offer? Well, until now, nothing, but that is all scheduled to change with the new C-Class Coupe.
Update 01/07/2010: The first official images for the 2012 Mercedes C-Class Coupe have been leaked! Check them out in the gallery provided. Also a bit of interesting news; the Mercedes C-Class Black Series will use a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 570 HP and 900 Nm (664 lb-ft) of torque!
Update 02/14/2011: Mercedes has finally revealed the official specs and details on the new C-Class Coupe that will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Hit the jump to read all about it and see the picture gallery for high res images.
Updated 02/18/2011: After the first images and details were revealed just the other day, Mercedes has unveiled the first video of the new C-Class Coupe. The video shows the car both inside and out, illustrating its dynamic design, sporty appearance, and efficient engines. Enjoy!
Updated 05/05/2011: Mercedes has unveiled a 10-minute movie in which the main star is the new C-Class Coupe. But noticing the car might be a challenge considering it is surrounded by beautiful young girls. Hit the jump to watch the video.
UPDATE 09/21/11: We hardly thought of the Mercedes C-Class Coupe as a car being shackled by its own company, but the latest commercial featuring the aforementioned Merc seems to point in that direction. "More power, more style, less doors" was the overall theme of the ad. Certainly, we couldn’t argue with any of those claims, except that the car was already awesome to begin with. But if Mercedes felt the need to point it out, then more power to them. Check out the new C-Class Coupe commercial by clicking on the photo above.
UPDATE 04/28/12: Mercedes has released a new promo - they’ve billed it as a "beauty" promo. Not sure why - of the C-Class Coupe. Check it out by clicking on the photo above.
Hit the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe.
The new C-Class Coupe shares many similarities with its sedan brother, but at the same time, it brings its own personality to the table. Up front it gets a prominent radiator grille surround including a bumper, a center air intake that opens upwards, two chrome louvers extend on either side of the central star offering the car an aggressive look, and a pronounced V-shape.
The upward kink at the trailing edge of the rear window looks a bit like a BMW design cue, and the wedge-shaped body and the sleek greenhouse convey Audi overtones. Perhaps the Germans are doing a bit of spying on one another. When you buy a two-door, one expects to lose a bit of practicality, but that’s not the case with this model, as the boot has the same 16.8 cubic feet of room as the four-door model. A little bit of packaging voodoo from the fine folks in Stuttgart.
"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."
For the interior, the new C-Class Coupe gets a new instrument panel with three tube rings painted in a metallic finish, a new three-spoke steering wheel featuring a flat bottom, a dashboard that accommodates standard 5.8-inch central display, an easier to use Command system, and a host of extra-cost driver assistance systems such as - take a breath - lane guidance, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, traffic sign recognition, night vision, an automatic parking aid, cornering lights, and cruise control with brake actuation. Most of this stuff you could do without, but it’s fun to discuss when bragging to your neighbors.
The C250 is offered with standard aluminum trim, while the C350 gets rich Burl Walnut. Unique Ash Olive Matte Wood Trim is available as an option.
Other items that will be making the jump include the E-Class’ four sporty, comfortable seats with integrated headrests, which means you can set up your C-Class’ front buckets to massage that tired body.
If desired, the backrests in the rear can be folded to extend the storage area. Interior quality will also be getting jumped up, as Mercedes is going back to what they once were before the Chrysler era.
For the US market, customers will get to choose from two different models: the C250 and the C350. The European market will get another three models to choose from. The smallest version is powered by a 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 201 HP and a peak torque of 229 lbs-ft. Top speed for this version is 130 mph, while the sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in 7.1 seconds. All of this is delivered with a combined fuel consumption of 24 mpg.
The C350 gets a 3.5 liter V6 engine with an output of 302 HP and 273 lbs-ft, while top speed is also limited to 130 mph. However, this model is a little bit faster as it sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, while fuel consumption sits at 22 mpg.
Both models are equipped with a more fuel efficient 7-speed automatic transmission.
When Can I Get One?
The new Mercedes C-Class Coupe will make its world debut in March at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with sales on the US market beginning in September 2011. Prices will be revealed at a later date.
As we stated earlier, the A5 and the 3-Series Coupe are natural competitors, as is the Cadillac CTS Coupe and Infiniti G Coupe. We aren’t too sure that Mercedes is worried about the G, it’s more their German rivals that are giving the boys from Merc nightmares.
The 3-Series Coupe has long been a performance machine and it has carried over the brilliant driving characteristics of the sedan. We would prefer the C-Class styling over the 3-Series, but when you have a vehicle that drives this good, you might as well throw styling aside because it just doesn’t matter. By the time the Mercedes hits showrooms, there might be a new 3-Series upon us and we think it feature the same toys as well. So, based on the past, Mercedes is going to have to step it up to beat Bavaria.
Audi’s A5 is a something of beauty. You can have it anyway you want it; in base mode, the more invigorating S5 version, or the all-out incredible RS5. There are numerous motors that can be placed in one of these machines, including a 4.2-liter V8. Sadly, as good as it was, it still didn’t live up the BMW. Sure, it matched it on build quality and interior design, but as far as driving goes, the 3-Series reigns supreme.
Only two options for the US market
Could have been faster