2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe
The compact luxury is getting a mild makeover for 2018by Robert Moore, on LISTEN 12:53
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.
2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe
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|
|Coefficient of Drag||0.2990|
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|
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.
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.