One might forgive Mercedes-Benz for being too anxious to wait for the Frankfurt Motor Show next month to pull the covers off the new 2017 C-Class Coupe. So, just in time for two of the year’s biggest automotive events, the Pebble Beach Concours and Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise, the German maker is giving us a good look at the compact two-door.
As with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan that made its debut last year, Mercedes isn’t offering up a minor refresh. This is a major overhaul that delivers a more sporty, high-tech coupe with a decidedly more dynamic design directly aimed at challenging the likes of the BMW 4-Series.
“Our new C-Class Coupe continues the philosophy of…combin(ing) thrilling design with agile sportiness and modern luxury,” proclaims Thomas Weber, Daimler AG’s director of Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “The C-Class Coupe therefore clearly pledges itself to stylish driving enjoyment.”
Visually, the C Coupe has a more dynamic, crouching stance than the C-Class sedan. Enhancing that feel is the so-called dropping, or character, line, that extends on the two-door model past the rear wheel arch. The suspension sits about 0.6 inches lower than the four-door, despite riding on 18-inch wheels.
While Mercedes is saving a few details – notably including precise dimensions – for the official Frankfurt Motor Show unveiling, the 2017 C300 and C300 4Matic share the same underlying platform as the C-Class sedan, the maker confirms it is 2.4 inches shorter than its predecessor.
There’s been a strong, readily apparent focus on aerodynamics. That not only gives the coupe a more modern appearance but should translate into improved performance and fuel economy. Also helpful, Mercedes engineers have put an emphasis on lightweighing. Among other steps, they went to aluminum for the 2017 C-Class Coupe’s fenders, hood and trunk lid. We’ll have to wait until next month, however, to learn precisely how much mass they’ve been able to take out of the new model.
The C300 Coupe will be powered by turbocharged 2.0-liter gas engine pouring out 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The two-door will be available in rear-drive trim or with the Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.
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For those who don’t think that’s sporty enough, Mercedes says it will be adding the requisite AMG edition of the C-Coupe. Meanwhile, TheDetroitBureau.com was advised that a convertible version will follow next year.
The extensive use of aluminum has several advantages, notes a statement from Mercedes. It not only lowers weight and enhances efficiency, but results in a stiffer body that improves handling as well as crash performance.
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As we’ve seen with every recent Mercedes model, the maker has been putting a premium on so-called active safety, and the C300 is no exception. Among the features on the new coupe, the Collision Prevention Assist Plus system can autonomously begin braking at speeds up to 124 mph if it detects a slower vehicle ahead. And it can brake to avoid a stopped vehicle at speeds up to 31 mph. There’s also a new Attention Assist feature that can alert a driver who has grown drowsy or inattentive.
One of the more intriguing high-tech features links the climate control and navigation systems. It automatically closes the air recirculation flap when you enter a tunnel and opens it back up when you emerge into the fresh air.
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There’s also a “Drive Show” feature for passengers that uses navi info to keep them entertained, much like the systems found on many modern airliners.