The compact luxury is getting a mild makeover for 2018

The third-generation C-Class came to be for the 2015 model year with an all-new modular platform that helped drop as much as 220 pounds over the previous generation. The current model is only a couple of years old at the time of this writing, but we’ve already seen facelifted versions of the sedan and wagon testing on public roads. Now, just a few weeks after seeing the four-door models, we’re getting to lay our eyes on the facelifted two-door coupe. On the docket of changes, you’ll find things like a revised radiator grille, new headlights and taillights, revised front and rear fascias, and some minor updates to the interior. Those update should include some new interior color options as well as a revised infotainment system and a revised instrument cluster. To put it simply, the facelifted, 2018 C-Class will bring enough refinement to make everything right for the third-gen model. It will also keep the compact car fresh until after the turn of the decade when Mercedes should be planning the next-generation model for 2021 or 2022.

While we are looking at a facelifted prototype here, don’t expect to see everything in one go. If you happen to remember what Mercedes did with the S-Class, you’ll know that Merc is using a one-part-at-a-time strategy as opposed to testing with all facelifted components at one time. This allows the brand to help keep some of the mystery while making sure that everything is kosher. As we move closer to the launch date, we should see all three models – sedan, wagon, and coupe – testing with all facelifted modifications, but until then, we’ll only see bits and pieces.

We should lay eyes on the next round of testers in the next few months, but for now, let’s dive on in and check out what’s going on with the C-Class Coupe.

Exterior

As we saw on the wagon and sedan prototypes, this mule is rocking a facelifted but camouflaged front fascia. The exterior light units, side skirts, rear fascia, even the hood are all from the current model, so there really isn’t a whole lot going on here. But, that doesn’t mean we have nothing to talk about as the weird overlay on that front fascia does give us an idea of what Mercedes is hiding. Notice how the corners are dented inward? This is due to how the overlay is fastened to the vehicle. By mounting through the corner air inlets, Merc can secure the overlay without actually damaging the fascia underneath.

The exterior light units, side skirts, rear fascia, even the hood are all from the current model, so there really isn’t a whole lot going on here.

But, what’s more important here is the what the dents from the fasteners expose. Using the fastening logic I just mentioned, and by observing the size of the dent, we can tell that the corner air inlets will actually grow in height and maybe even width. It won’t be much, but it should make the front end of the facelifted model a little more aggressive. To go with the larger air inlets, there will be a small enlargement of the air dam below the grille. It won’t be much larger, and the primary purpose of growth is for aesthetic purposes, but it should allow a little more airflow into the engine compartment if Merc doesn’t add in a fixed shutter.

That’s really all that we can make out from these spy shots, but expect to see the radiator grille evolve. There won’t be much change, but Mercedes should freshen it up. Then we’ll also see revised headlamps and taillamps. The front will get a different layout for the LED strip while the rear will see a more defined lens layout. Mercedes might change up the side skirts or the hood, but I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. But, there will more innovation coming to the interior, so let’s move on a talk a little more about that.

Mercedes C-Class Coupe
Length: 184.5 in
Height 55.3 in
Width 71.3 in
Wheelbase 111.8 in
Coefficient of Drag 0.2990

Interior

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior Exterior Spyshots
- image 696893

Note: Interior from C-Class Wagon and Sedan test mules shown here.

Normally we don’t get a look at the interior of a test mule – at least not this early on, anyway. And, that is the case with the C-Class Coupe, but it doesn’t really matter because we did manage to get a shot of the interior from the wagon and sedan, which is what you see displayed above. If you’re someone who likes to browse forums and read reviews, then there is no doubt that you’ve seen at least a few complaints about that weird, mouse-like controller for the infotainment system. Well, the engineers over at Mercedes must have been checking out customer opinions too, because they decided to get rid of that controller altogether and replace it with a convenient and non-obtrusive touch pad controller instead. This will make accessing and controlling the knob just ahead of it a breeze and makes the center console itself look far less cluttered than before.

Outside of that welcomed change, it also appears as if the facelifted model will rock an updated instrument cluster. For our limited view in the image above, we can see that the gauges appear to be the same, but the TFT screen has likely grown a little bit. Plus, have you noticed the steering wheel? That looks like it was borrowed directly from the S-Class, which would be a real nice addition to a model as low in the lineup as the C-Class. The rest of the interior should carry on largely unchanged, but we may see an updated dash pad that is taller than before to go with revised door panels, new materials, and the addition of new interior color options. Mercedes could even redesign the stitching of the seats to add an even fresher look, but this would be secondary to everything else and it’s not something that’s highly expected with this facelift.

Mercedes C-Class Coupe
Front Headroom 38.8 in
Front Legroom 42.0 in
Front Shoulder Room 54.8 in
Rear Headroom 35.6 in
Rear Legroom 32.0 in
Rear Shoulder Room 51.7 in
Total Passenger Volume TBA
Trunk Capacity 10.5 cu ft

Drivetrain

As far as the drivetrain goes, I wouldn’t expect anything in terms of new engines, updated power output, or advancements in performance. Mercedes will hang onto those changes for the fourth-gen model, so the third-generation should soldier on unchanged in this department. Here in the U.S., the C-Class Coupe is available as the C300, which uses a 2.0-liter, inline-four that delivers 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. If you’re someone who likes the benefits and maneuverability of all-wheel drive, you can upgrade to the C300 4Matic for a couple grand more. In the end, the performance figures are the same with both versions of the C300 hitting a 60-mph sprint in 5.9 seconds. Mercedes has never published a top speed for the C300, but it would most certainly be limited to 155 mph at most.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe Exterior Spyshots
- image 698916
Mercedes will hang onto those changes for the fourth-gen model, so the third-generation should soldier on unchanged in this department.

Of course, there are also the AMG versions that are more aggressive on the outside and more luxurious on the inside. There are three different AMG versions – the C43, C63, and C63 S. The C43 makes use of a 3.0-liter V-6 that delivers 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. With a weight of 3,935 pounds, it can hit 60 mph in four seconds with top speed limited to 155 mph. Next up, you’ve got the C63 which makes use of a 4.0-liter V-8 to develop 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. 60 mph comes in as fast as 3.9 seconds with top speed set to 155 mph. If that’s not enough in a small coupe for you, you can get the steroid-induced C63 S with the same 4.0-liter tuned to deliver 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. With a curb weight of 4,096 pounds, it can hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Shifting duties on C300 models are handled by a 7G-Tronic, seven-speed automatic. The C43 is equipped with an AMG-enhanced, 9G-Tronic, nine-speed transmission. Meanwhile, the C63 and C63 S make use of a seven-speed AMG Speedshift MCT transmission. C63 Models come standard with rear-wheel drive, while the C43 comes standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive and the C300 can be had in either configuration. Outside of this, each model should carry over with four-wheel independent suspension while the AMG models should get AMG adaptive sport suspension.

Mercedes C300 Mercedes-AMG C43 Mercedes-AMG C63 Mercedes-AMG C63 S
Engine 2.0-liter 3.0-liter AMG 4.0-liter AMG 4.0-liter AMG
Transmission Seven-speed Nine-speed Seven-Speed AMG Seven-speed AMG
Horsepower 241 @ 5,500 RPM 362 @ 5,500 RPM 469 @ 5,500 RPM 503 @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 273 @ 1,300 – 4,000 RPM 384 @ 2,000 – 4,200 RPM 479 @ 1,750 – 4,500 RPM 516 @ 1,750 – 4,500 RPM
0-to-60 MPH 5.9 Sec 4.6 Sec 3.9 Sec 3.8 Sec
Top Speed 155 MPH 155 MPH 155 MPH 155 MPH
Fuel Economy cty/hwy 23/29 20/28 17/23 17/23
Weight 3,770 lbs 3,935 lbs 4,074 lbs 4,096 lbs

Prices

We expect pricing for the C-Class to increase marginally with across the board by as much as $1,500 at most. The current model starts out at $42,650 for the C300 and $44,640 for the C300 4Matic. But, if you opt for the range-topping C63 S, you can pay as much as $75,000 before taxes, options, and destination charges.

Current Expected
C300 $42,650 $44,150
C300 4Matic $44,650 $46,150
C43 $55,500 $57,000
C63 $67,000 $68,500
C63 S $75,000 $76,500

Competition

BMW 4 Series

2018 BMW 4 Series Coupe Exterior Spyshots
- image 683262

The 4 Series is actually fairly new on the market, as it became an all-new model that replaced the 3 Series coupe in Bimmer’s lineup. We caught a facelifted prototype of the 4 Series testing mid-2016, so by the time the 2018 C-Class hits the market, the 4 Series should be rolling into the party as well. Currently available in a total of three different versions, you can get a 430i that is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, a 440i that gets its juice from a 3.0-liter inline-six that delivers 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, or the M4 that uses the same 3.0-liter massaged to deliver 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Top Speed is limited to 155 mph for all models. At the time of this writing, the 430i starts out at $42,150, while the 440i starts out at $48,500. The M4, on the other hand, will set you back $66,200. The M4 is only available with rear-wheel drive, but the non-M models can be had in xDrive form for $2,000 extra.

Read more about the BMW 4 Series here.

Audi A5/S5

2017 Audi A5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 678424

Keeping the German fight alive means you’ll also have to consider the Audi A5 Coupe as a competitor for the C-Class and BMW 4 Series Coupes. While some of Audi’s cars are considered bland and boring, the A5 is actually fairly aggressive thanks to the introduction of its second generation for the 2017 model year. With a muscular hood, short and wide grille, sculpted fascias and distinct side profile, the A5 is a strong contender in this segment. The A5 is only available in one trim as of the time of this writing, and it comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. 60 mph comes in as fast as 5.3 seconds with top speed set to 130 mph. If you want something more, however, you could go with the S5 that utilizes a 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. The S5 can hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. Both models come standard with a six-speed manual with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive. Pricing for the S5 starts at $41,200 while the S5 starts out at $53.100.

Find out more about the Audi A5 here.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe Exterior Spyshots
- image 698922

It appears as if Mercedes is right on schedule to update all versions of its resident compact car, but I’m actually surprised to see the facelifted coupe being tested so early. Usually, the coupe comes a bit later than the sedan and wagon, but this time they are only a few weeks apart. This is good news, however, as that means Mercedes should have all variants ready to hit showrooms at the same time.

On a side note, there are some outlets claiming that the C-Class coupe was seen testing with a KERS-like brake regeneration system up front, but it’s not likely that this is the case. The plating located behind the front brake rotors looks more like a larger dust shield than it does a regeneration hub. So, with that said, keep an open mind, but don’t expect to see any major advancement in brake regeneration in terms of the facelifted C-Class Coupe.

  • Leave it
    • Still wish we could get more from the facelift
    • Not likely to see any power updates
    • Have to wait another year before it hits showrooms

Just a few weeks after the world premiere of the newly updated C-Class sedan and wagon, the two-door version of the C-Class appears in top form with the redesigned coupe and cabriolet. Sportiness and driving pleasure have been enhanced with a sharper design, digital cockpit and new, more powerful engines. The new, efficient four-cylinder engine on the C 300 and C 300 4MATIC models and upgraded AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter V6 in the Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC underscore the dynamic nature of this highly emotional and appealing C-Class model. The redesigned 2019 C- Class Coupe and Cabriolet will be celebrating their World Premiere at the New York International Auto Show in March 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.

The secret of the C-Class’s success is partly due to the wide model range, also including two sporty two-door versions: the coupe, launched at the end of 2015, and the cabriolet, launched in 2016, each address the heart and mind in equal measure.

Shortly after the redesigned C-Class Sedan was introduced, the two-door models too are benefiting from extensive revisions. The most important enhancements at a glance:

New four-cylinder engine for sporty driving pleasure with high efficiency
Advancement of the sporty design in particular at the front and tail end, new light-alloy wheels, new colors
Standard LED High Performance headlamps with new design; optional LED Intelligent headlamps with ULTRA WIDE Highbeam
Enhanced interior with larger central media display equipped as standard (10.25 inches), optionally available digital instrument cluster (12.3 inches) and new multifunction steering wheel with Touch Control Buttons. Many opportunities for individualization, e.g. through new Natural Grain trim elements
Future-oriented driving assistance systems from Mercedes-Benz with S-Class functions and cooperative driver support

More powerful, more efficient engine

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet will also benefit from a new 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo engine that produces 255 hp (vs. 241 previously), an increase in 14 hp, and 273 lb-ft of torque. The Coupe and Cabriolet are also equipped with a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission that affords a dynamic driving experience.

Mercedes-AMG: More performance for the C 43

With a multitude of carefully coordinated measures the AMG developers have enhanced the vehicle dynamics even further. The AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter V6 engine now produces 385 hp (vs. 362 hp previously), an increase in 23 hp. The peak torque of 384 lb-ft is available in a wide engine speed range from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. The new C 43 Coupe accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds (estimated), and the Cabriolet in 4.6 seconds (estimated).

4MATIC all-wheel drive: Traction even in difficult road conditions

At market launch the C 300 is available with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive for improved traction and driving stability, especially in adverse road conditions. The 4MATIC has an active all-wheel torque distribution of 45 % to the front and 55 % to the rear. As ever, the combination of the ESP® driving dynamics control system with the 4ETS electronic traction system makes regular differential locks superfluous. This saves weight and noticeably improves handling safety as well as ride comfort.

The all-wheel drive is standard equipment for the Mercedes-AMG C 43, and features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear axle split of 31 to 69 percent.

More dynamic design and LED High Performance headlamps as standard

The newly redesigned C-Class combines emotion with intelligence. The vehicle’s appearance is defined in particular by its front and tail end and the design of the headlamps and taillamps.

The front design exudes sportiness at first glance. Powerful styling elements such as the new bumper and the standard-fit diamond radiator grille lend the two-door C-Class models an individual character. The standard-fit LED High Performance headlamps have a new design that lends an especially distinctive appearance. For the first time in this model series, LED Intelligent headlamps with ULTRA WIDE high beam are additionally available (see below for details).

The rear appears broad and agile, thanks to dynamic details and a standard-fit two-pipe exhaust system. A particular highlight both day and night are the revised, more accentuated all-LED taillamps.

The sporty design features are heightened with the AMG Line. For example, the AMG Line exterior includes the diamond radiator grille with chrome pins plus an AMG-specific front bumper with new geometry, sporty air intakes and its chromed trim element. The exterior with the Night Package sports an even more athletic look with its black design features. These include the black trim elements in the AMG front bumper and the AMG rear bumper plus exterior mirror housings painted in high-gloss black.

The paint color spectrum has also been broadened. New colors are Mojave Silver Metallic and – exclusively for the coupe and cabriolet within the C-Class family: Graphite Grey.

Digital cockpit

The sporty interior with its individual integral-look seats is characterized by further-enhanced perceived quality and flowing shapes and the facelift takes it into the digital era.

The center console is characterized by an elegant flowing trim element with new materials: Natural Grain Brown Walnut or Natural Grain Grey Oak.
Magma Grey/Black are newly available as interior colors.

The KEYLESS-GO starting function is standard. The start/stop button comes in a new turbine-look design. The vehicle key also features a new design.

On the cabriolet, the soft top can be operated from the outside with the vehicle key and the "Open/Close" buttons.

An eye on the future: fully digital instrument cluster available as an option

The standard multimedia display above the center console has a 10.25-inch screen. The C-Class also features a new optional, fully-digital instrument cluster with the three visually distinguishable styles "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive," which also transform the look of the central display when equipped with this option.

The C-Class has touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel that respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. They enable the driver to control the functions of the instrument cluster and of the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The operation of DISTRONIC and cruise control with controls directly on the steering wheel is another new feature.

The infotainment system can additionally be operated via the touchpad with controller (new: haptic feedback) in the center console or by means of voice control. Vehicle functions such as the seat heating can now also be voice controlled. The optional head-up display is now adjustable over an even wider range.

Future-oriented assistance systems on a par with the S-Class

The new C-Class features the latest Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems offering the driver cooperative support, and therefore provides a higher level of active safety than its predecessor. The C-Class is able to drive semi- autonomously in certain situations. To do this it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation: improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to approximately 1,640 feet (500 m) ahead. The vehicle’s surroundings are scanned by radar across a distance of up to approximately 820 feet (250 m) to the front, 130 feet (40 m) to the sides and 260 feet (80 m) to the rear, while with the camera a range of up to 1,640 feet (500 m) is possible to the front, including 295 feet (90 m) in 3D.

The C-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driver Assistance Package is able to give the driver map-based support in numerous situations, and predictively adjust the speed e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Other new developments include intuitively understandable Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist as new functions of Active Steering Assist.

The new C-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, this can help to mitigate the consequences of rear- end collisions with slow-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or prevent them altogether.

LED Intelligent headlamps: Optimum visibility in all conditions

LED Intelligent headlamps are new and available on request in the coupe and cabriolet. These allow electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation.

In high-beam mode, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus enables continuous long- range illumination of the road ahead. When no other road user is detected, the road ahead is straight and the vehicle speed is above 25 mph, ULTRA WIDE high beam is switched on automatically. When there are oncoming vehicles or vehicles ahead, the high beam is automatically switched off. The ULTRA WIDE high beams are always active only if high beam mode has been manually switched on.

The multimedia systems: Tailor-made information and music offerings

The C-Class comes as standard featuring Apple CarPlayTM and Android Auto smartphone integration, two USB ports, an SD card reader, Bluetooth connection and media interface.

The latest-generation COMAND Navigation available as optional equipment offers fast 3D hard-disc navigation with topographical map display, photo- realistic 3D buildings and 3D map rotations. Comprehensive information is displayed on the navigation map: in addition to real-time traffic density information it can e.g. include Car-to-X warning messages, the weather, filling stations including current fuel prices and free parking spaces.

With the Concierge service (included for one year in conjunction with COMAND, and available as a subscription service thereafter), Mercedes me connect customers have a host of individual services at their disposal: from making restaurant reservations and obtaining tips about tourist routes, to gathering information on cultural or sporting events and sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle.

The C-Class uses NFC technology

Mobile devices corresponding to the Qi standard can be charged conveniently while on the move with the optional wireless charging system. The charging surface in the quick stowage tray at the front of the center console is also suitable for large smartphones.

Both C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet models are produced at the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant. The redesigned 2019 C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet will be celebrating their World Premiere at the New York International Auto Show in March 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.

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