Mercedes is changing the name of the big CL coupé – this year's facelift ushers in the new S-class Coupé name, more closely aligning the two-door S-class with the E-class Coupé.
It's also a return to the naming strategy of previous big Merc coupés – such as the 1980s SEC models. At a stroke, the new 2010 S-class Coupé, codenamed C216, will help streamline the sprawling badgefest that is Mercedes' current car range.
So what's new on the Mercedes S-class Coupé, apart from the name?
This is a minor, Merc-style facelift. So the cosmetic changes will be 'modest', according to a highly respected Merc source we spoke to. Peel away that disguise, and you'll see the latest family headlamp style, more aero mirrors, a gently recontoured two-bar grille and fresh detailing on the bumpers and spoilers. 'It's a soft nose look, as first seen on the SLS,' said our insider. Warning: you might need a magnifying glass.
As you might expect on top-end Merc, minutely tailored LEDs will be fitted – day running lights become mandatory next year in Europe and premium car manufacturers are rushing to come up with facial graphics to make theirs stand out. The low-down LEDs here appear to be straight horizontal items, rather than the stylised tick on the new E-class.
Of course the new S-class Coupé is gadget packed, too: drowsiness detection systems, pedestrian-detecting night vision and a split-view front monitor will all be available, the latter allowing driver and passenger to watch different displays to quell marital strife. Judging by the number of camera systems visible near the rear-view mirror in the main scoop photo above, there will be no end of radar and optical assistance systems to minimise the tiring act of driving for the person behind the wheel.
Which S-class Coupés can I buy?
Mercedes streamlined the UK's CL range in 2009; you can currently only order a CL500 and CL63 AMG – the CL600 and CL65 now lurk on special order lists. That will continue with the new S-class Coupé.
The big news is under the bonnet. The new two-door S-class will be the first model to showcase the new AMG engine, a twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 with 23% better consumption yet more power and torque than the outgoing AMG 6.2-litre V8. It produces 544bhp and 590lb ft in standard form, while the AMG Performance Package should send figures spiralling to 563bhp and 663lb ft. You may want to start investing in Michelin shares now.
Although a hybrid S-class Coupé is technically possible – we've already tested the new S400 Hybrid saloon – we understand that one won't be launched on the two-door straight away.
See the new S-class Coupé at a bespoke event this summer; we'd tip the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed. UK sales start in September 2010.