Despite such image-building spin-offs as the DTM AMG edition and the Black Series bahnstormer, the previous-generation Mercedes CLK was aimed primarily at well to do best-agers, not at amateur racers.
The replacement due in March 2011 is a much sharper piece of kit which targets a more dynamic clientele. Renamed the Mercedes C-class Coupe, this relatively straightforward C-class derivative is the smaller and more affordable brother of the totally different looking E-class coupe.
New 2011 Mercedes C-class Coupe: how it fits with the E-class Coupe
Beneath the skin, the C-class Coupe and E-class Coupe are more closely related than Mercedes would like us to know. How close? Check out the wheelbase: an identical 2760mm for both. The engineering content doesn’t change much, either.
Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the C Coupe promises to be much prettier than the overstyled two-door E-class. The front and rear ends will be adopted from the facelifted C-class sedan/wagon due early next year.
This explains the more sculptured bonnet, the restyled lights and the enlarged nasal air intakes. The upward kink at the trailing edge of the rear window looks suspiciously like a BMW design cue and the wedge-shaped body and the sleek greenhouse convey Audi overtones.
How practical is the 2011 Merc C-class Coupe?
Most coupes suffer from packaging constraints, but the boot of the new two-door C-class holds the same 475 litres as the four-door model. The revised interior will be almost identical to the E-class Coupe’s, with a repositioned and enlarged sat-nav monitor, an easier-to-use Comand system and a host of extra-cost driver assistance systems such as lane departure warnings, blind spot warning, traffic sign recognition, night vision, automatic parking aid,cornering lights and cruise control with brake actuation.
The line-up will stretch from a C180 CGI with a 156bhp 1.8 petrol to a 250 CDI with a 204bhp 2.2-litre diesel. All drop the antiquated five-speed auto for the latest seven-speed 7G-tronic box.
The new C-class Coupe is likely to cost nearly £2000 more than the saloon when sales start in summer 2011. Word is prices will kick off around £31,000.