Su­per coupe

Snap, crackle and pop ... Mercedes’s new C-Class is set to blow you away

The Advertiser - Motoring - - PRESTIGE - PETER BARN­WELL

THE new Mercedes-Benz CClass sedan is a bench­mark car in its class on many fronts. Sales un­der­line that point.

But if you think the sedan is a tad on the staid side to look at then the new C-Class Coupe, due early next year, is the car for you.

“Wow fac­tor” doesn’t really do jus­tice to this svelte and sexy two-door tin top and yes, there’s a raunchy AMG 63 version in the mix at launch along with a cabrio drop top down the track.

It looks sen­sa­tional from all an­gles — par­tic­u­larly from the rear — and has strong cut­through on the road judg­ing by the re­ac­tion from other driv­ers and pedes­tri­ans.

Aus­tralia will get a num­ber of vari­ants start­ing with the C200 and C300 Coupes — both with 2.0-litre turbo petrol en­gines in dif­fer­ent states of tune. They are com­mon en­gines across the Benz line up, as is the 2.1-litre turbo diesel in the C250d.

But the undis­puted hero is the AMG Sport model com­plete with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 crank­ing out 375kW and a moun­tain­ous 700Nm of torque. It’s the same en­gine as in the C63 sedan, with the same 7-speed multi-clutch auto.

The other petrol C-Class Coupes have a con­ven­tional 7-speed trans­mis­sion and the diesel a 9-speed. All drive the rear wheels. Pric­ing hasn’t been an­nounced yet, but ex­pect the new range to kick off at about $65,000 for the C200 Coupe, ris­ing to about $165,000 for the AMG 63. The oth­ers are dot­ted in be­tween with the ex­pected big­gest seller, the C300 Coupe, com­ing in at about $80,000.

Power and torque out­puts start at 135kW/300Nm for the C200, ris­ing to 180kW/370Nm for the C300 and 150kW/ 500Nm for the C250d.

The new en­gines use up to 20 per cent less fuel than the pre­vi­ous model.

The Coupe is be­ing touted as a long-dis­tance tourer, but also has a de­cid­edly sporty edge, par­tic­u­larly the C300 and the C63 which has a spe­cially de­vel­oped wider rear axle that per­forms a torque vec­tor­ing func­tion as well as en­hanc­ing the C63’s stance.

The coupe rides lower than the sedan, has a longer wheel­base than the pre­vi­ous CCoupe and is larger in nearly ev­ery di­men­sion, al­though weight has been re­duced a lit­tle through the use of light­weight ma­te­ri­als.

In­ter­net ca­pa­bil­ity is built into all vari­ants along with the lat­est in­fo­tain­ment fea­tures.

An app (Mercedes con­nect me) can be pro­vided to carry out many car func­tions from around the planet in­clud­ing cen­tral lock­ing, win­dow po­si­tion and GPS des­ti­na­tions along with sim­ply lo­cat­ing your car in a large carpark.

There are nu­mer­ous driver as­sis­tance func­tions across the range, al­though some are saved for the more ex­pen­sive mod­els.

ON THE ROAD

Cars­guide trav­elled to Spain for the coupe launch and drove the C300, the C250d and the awesome C63AMG.

While the C300 has plenty to of­fer in ev­ery driv­ing ap­pli­ca­tion, and the 9-speed auto diesel is a crack­ing good long-dis­tance fuel sip­per, the C63 stole the show with its ag­gres­sive looks and bel­liger­ent sound.

It’s a twin-turbo direct in­jec­tion V8 that punches well above its weight, with more grunt every­where than the pre­vi­ous non-turbo 6.2-litre V8 and a with­er­ing top end.

The multi-clutch trans­mis­sion blips the throt­tle on down changes and of­fers mul­ti­ple drive modes (as does the stan­dard auto in the other mod­els).

Where the C63 really has an edge is in the new wider rear axle and elec­tronic lim­ited slip dif­fer­en­tial, the 19-inch front and wider rear wheels, the car­bon ce­ramic brakes (op­tional) and stiffer sus­pen­sion bushes that re­place the more flex­i­ble rub­ber items. Elec­tronic shock ab­sorbers can be set to a cer­tain stiff­ness by the driver or op­er­ate in “ac­tive” mode.

The car is an ab­so­lute mon­ster in per­for­mance terms, clock­ing a 0-100kmh sprint in less than four sec­onds. But that’s only a small part of the story as its dy­nam­ics — es­pe­cially the steer­ing and grip — are among the best you will find on a fourseat pro­duc­tion car.

It can be placed with pin point ac­cu­racy through turns, has in­cred­i­ble feel and quick re­sponses through the wheel cou­pled with car­bon ce­ramic brakes that do not fade.

Did I men­tion the ex­haust note?

It is nearly as good as the Jag F-Type R for snap, crackle and pop. Wind down the win­dows through a tun­nel and it’s a symphony of thun­der­ous sound. Gor­geous.

VER­DICT

Would be happy with any model, even the 200. It has the looks in­side and out, the equip­ment, tech­nol­ogy, poise, pol­ish and per­for­mance to take on all com­ers and blow them away.

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