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First Look: Mercedes’ Downsized Coupe-Like CSC Sedan Concept

Beijing’s CSC Concept will be America’s new CLA.

by on Apr.18, 2012

We'll get a closer look at the CLA Concept next week in Beijing.

Can we buy a vowel, Vanna?  Okay, so that means the CSC Concept will soon reappear as the CLA.  Got that straight?  No?

We’re not surprised.  The once easy to remember Mercedes-Benz alphanumeric line-up has grown increasingly complex, over the years, as the maker keeps filling more and more luxury niches.  And it will become yet more confusing come the press days at next week’s Beijing Motor Show, when we get our first look at what is being referred to as the Mercedes Concept Style Coupe, or CSC.

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In fact, the images here will herald the coming of what will be dubbed the CLA when it actually rolls into showrooms in the very near future.

Clear yet?  Okay, here’s more: The German automaker scored an absolute out-of-the-park home run with the launch of the original CLS, it’s “Coupe-Like Sedan.” The sweeping shape has influenced virtually everyone in the auto industry, from rivals like BMW, with the new 6-Series Gran Coupe, to Hyundai, with its coupe-like Sonata.

The CSC will reappear as the production CLA.

But Mercedes knows that the global luxury market – like the rest of the auto industry – is downsizing.  It’s got an all-new platform, best-known as the MFA, in the ready.  And it will use that “architecture” as the foundation for a variety of new models.  We got a look at one of the first during last month’s Geneva Motor Show when the Teutonic maker introduced the all-new A-Class.  There will be at least four A-Class models based off the MFA.  But we’ll also see some new B-Class entries.  And the new CLA.

Any resemblance between the CSC prototype coming to Beijing and the latest-generation CLS production model is purely intentional, though you’ll likely also pick up hints of the Mercedes-Benz F800 Style concept from 2010.

Word leaking out – along with these images – has it that the Chinese Concept Style Coupe will feature a 208-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine.

A look inside the CSC concept.

And our friends at Autoblog are reporting that yet another concept related to the CSC could appear at the Transmission LA: AV Club music festival in Los Angeles around April 20.

The new MFA architecture is a big venture for Mercedes.  Not only will it provide the foundation for models like the A-, B- and CLA, but it will also provide a base for the German marque’s new alliance partner, Infiniti.

Since 2010, Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG has been rapidly expanding its partnership with the Euro-Asian Renault-Nissan Alliance.  Among the quid-pro-quos: Renault is leading development of a microcar that it will market as the next Twingo, while it will also replace the struggling Smart brand’s fortwo model.  Nissan, meanwhile, will build engines in Tennessee for the Mercedes C-Class being produced in Alabama.

And the MFA platform will be used in a production version of the Infiniti Etherea – and, we’ve been hearing, as the foundation for Infiniti’s next-generation G- line-up.

How’s that for alphabet soup?

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