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