Thursday, 12 May 2016

Sleek seduction of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

There is arguably nothing in the Mercedes-Benz range that commands as much as attention on the roads as the svelte S-Class Coupé. It’s no wonder then that the C-Class Coupé has also captured our imagination.

The design language of the Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupé is based on its bigger and more luxurious sibling and to is set to take on the popular BMW 4 series and the ageing Audi A5. Game on.

Launched in three variants for now, the order book lists C300 and C200 petrol models, as well as a C220d diesel version capable of 4,1l/100km when fitted with the optional 9G-Tronic gearbox. It’s a brand new transmission and takes efficiency to a new level for the C-Class. It also features Direct Select steering paddles for manual mode operation.

Mercedes Benz launched the C-Coupé in the Garden Route town of George. Nestled at the foot of the Outeniqua mountains, the route that lay before us was shrouded in broiling fog and featured damp, slippery roads.
Sleek seduction of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé
The conditions were perfect to enjoy a spirited drive to Wilderness. The sweeping bends and ebbing landscapes were suited to showcasing the Coupé’s new suspension and dynamic characteristics. The car sits lower to the ground than before and the suspension variants all point to a sporty drive with adaptive damping.

At the helm of the C200 through the testing Outeniqua pass, we marvelled at the dynamic ability of this entry-level Benz coupé. It is indeed the best handling C-Class member, with impeccable road holding and confidence-inspiring grip.

The C200 provides an ample amount of pull (135kW and 300Nm), a top speed of 237km/h and an unexpectedly crisp soundtrack to boot – yes, even from a two-litre, four-cylinder power plant. That said, it still achieves impressive economy figures of 5,4-5,9l/100km.

The interior closely resembles that of the sedan – and that’s not a bad thing. If anything, the Coupé is a more exclusive entry into the market. The seats, for example, are bespoke to the Coupé with a sporty yet elegant integral design, as are the automatic belt-feeders that extend as you climb aboard. The options-list is as long as the waiting list and the interior trim can be ordered in various styles.
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Merc has launched the coupé with ready-made packages available on all models, the most popular of which is usually the AMG Line – a sporty package that weaves carbon fibre, black and silver trim into the dashboard with chrome AMG lettering on the centre console. It’s become something of a cliché in modern cars, but it continues to be a popular choice.

What should also be a popular choice is the Edition 1 Special Edition package, with which the new Coupé is being launched. Available for R49 000, the Edition 1 exterior package includes 19″ twin-spoke AMG wheels; silver-pinned Diamond grille and “Edition 1” badging. In terms of the interior, the seats are finished in Artico brown leather with turquoise stitching and the dash is hewn in a dark ash wood veneer. Orders for this package will only be taken until 31 October.

This is Merc’s take on a sporty, modern and uncompromising coupé. It is indeed all of that and uncompromising in terms of safety, with Collision Prevention Assist and PRESAFE as standard on all these cars. That is in addition to the multitude of airbags, braking and passenger cell safety systems that we’ve come to expect at this level.

Prices start at R551 100 for the C200, slightly higher than the BMW 420i. We can’t fault the C-Coupé in any way and I’m certain it will sell well, as well the Beemer. The war wages on.

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