Making its debut in striking two-door form, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe is set to bow in at Geneva. Borrowing numerous style and tech elements seen on the new C-Class sedan that was introduced last month in Detroit, this latest addition to the lineup is intended to reach out to a currently untapped group of potential customers at a price point that's significantly below its E-Class Coupe cousin. Like the C-Class sedan, U.S.-spec versions will be available in C250 and C350 variants, with turbocharged four-cylinder and naturally-aspirated V6 power.
Although sharing basic visual character and a common 108.7-inch wheelbase with the four-door model, the new C-Class Coupe does get its own twin-bar grille design and revised lower front-fascia treatment. The more aggressive sweep of its flowing roofline shortens the decklid and helps trim 1.5 inches from the Coupe's comparative height while a unique rising beltline adds even more drama to the profile. Although 17-inch/five-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in 225/45 front and 245/40 rear all-season tires are standard on both models, the C350 rims are an AMG-spec twin-spoke design.
Inside, the C-Class Coupes share all key trappings with the 2012 Sedans. Beyond a megaroster of power assists and a power tilt/sliding panorama sunroof, common comfort/convenience standards include front sports seats, individual rear "buckettes" with fold-down backs, a flat-bottom sport steering wheel with shift paddles that sits atop a power tilt/telescoping column, M-B's latest generation of telematics, a 5.8-inch central controller display screen, HD radio, Bluetooth Audio Streaming and hands-free connectivity. Both versions are clad in standard MB-Tex and offer full-leather upgrades, however, the C350 Coupe swaps aluminum accent trim for Burl Walnut wood. Opting for V6 power also brings a 12-speaker harman/kardon LOGIC7 Surround Sound premium audio system upgrade plus a iPod/MP3 Media Interface in place of an eight-speaker stereo, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and heated front seats.
As in their sedan counterparts, both engines in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe line feature efficiency-boosting direct fuel injection and are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission that sends driving force to the rear wheels. The 1.8-liter turbocharged four in the C250 makes 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque while the C350's 3.5-liter V6 pops those output figures to 302/273, respectively. Although both Coupes top out at 130 mph, Mercedes is projecting that the C350 will hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, 1.2 ticks quicker than the C250.
Underpinning the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupes is a modified MacPherson strut/multilink suspension setup that incorporates M-B's AGILITY CONTROL auto damping system. It's teamed with Electronic Stability Control, Anti-Slip Regulation and antilock brakes that feature Brake Assist and Adaptive Brake with Hold circuitry. In addition to their dynamic aids, the C-Class Coupes also come with ATTENTION ASSIST, LED daytime running lights, and front/front-side/front-pelvic/side-curtain and driver's knee airbags. Rear-side bags and a Lane Tracking Package with Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist also are available.
Like their Sedan kin, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupes will offer numerous upgrades including COMAND with Hard-Drive Navigation, Gracenote media database with10GB hardrive and Music Register and SIRIUS real-time services as well as KEYLESS GO, bi-xenon headlamps with active curve illumination and Adaptive Highbeam Assist, and a rearview camera.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 and C350 Coupes arrive at U.S. dealers in September. Pricing will be announced closer to on-sale date