Mercedes-Benz finally gives us the full info on the new Mercedes C-Class Coupe 2011 (CLC 2011), and what a car we see! With flowing, although muscular lines and a more sporty approach than the sedan, the new CLC is prone to dominate in its segment due to a combination of power, efficient engines and luxury interior that are difficult to match.
Of course, the car is built to appeal to those in the 35-45 age, so its classic exterior lines and its restrained interior will not be on everyone’s taste. Also, the new CLC is not as high-tech as the competition, basing itself rather on a more direct, mechanical approach to driving than on the over-assisted style of the other German cars in the segment.
The new Mercedes C-Class Coupe 2011: engines
There are five powerful direct-injection engines to choose from, all with BlueEFFICIENCY tags and ECO start/stop function fitted as standard. All automatic versions feature the further-enhanced 7G‑TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission (standard with the C 250 and C 350 petrol engines).
The C 220 CDI and C 250 CDI diesel variants and the basic C 180 petrol engine come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. The top engine variant is the V6 petrol engine in the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY featuring the efficient BlueDIRECT method of injection. It delivers 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 Nm. Average fuel consumption is 6.8 litres per 100 km. The four-cylinder petrol engines have direct injection and are turbocharged, offering high performance and exemplary economy.
The most economical coupé model is the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with manual six-speed transmission and the standard ECO start/stop function. It has an average diesel consumption of 4.4 litres per 100 km. This corresponds to 117 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY contents itself with a combined diesel consumption of just 4.9 litres per 100 km. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 128 grams per kilometre.
The new Mercedes CLC 2011: driving
The AGILITY CONTROL suspension, which is standard equipment, complements the dynamic engines in order to ensure a perfect ride, with a sporty feeling. This is based on an amplitude-dependent damping system: when driving normally with low shock absorber impulses, the damping forces are automatically reduced for a noticeable improvement in road roar and tyre vibration characteristics – but without any compromise in handling safety. When shock absorber impulses are greater, for example when cornering at speed or performing evasive manoeuvres, the maximum damping forces are set and the car is effectively stabilised.
The AGILITY CONTROL suspension is complemented by a rack-and-pinion steering system. Speed-sensitive steering with variable centring and a constant steering ratio is available as an option, while the standard suspension uses a three-link front axle and a multi-link independent rear suspension.
In addition to AGILITY CONTROL suspension as standard, there is an optional extra on the coupé in the form of a 15 mm lower sports suspension with harder, shorter springs, tauter shock absorbers and stronger torsion bars. Speed-sensitive sports steering is also included.
The new Mercedes CLC 2011: safety
With seven airbags as standard, belt tensioners and belt-force limiters for all seats, the C-Class Coupé has extensive safety features. The airbags, which can deploy in milliseconds in the event of an accident, include front airbags and sidebags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag on the driver’s side, and headbags. The side protection system – comprising headbag and thoraxbag – optimises the level of protection afforded to individual parts of the body. To protect pedestrians, the coupé has an active bonnet made of aluminium.
With a number of driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control, the coupé provides a comprehensive level of driver support and protection. The assistance systems are based on the latest radar, camera and sensor technology, and cover frequent accident causes such as driving too closely, fatigue and darkness.
The new Mercedes C-Class 2011: interior
If you already seen the new Mercedes C-Class interior, then you’ll recognize the same sporty and high-quality design in the new Coupe also, even if there are some differences: there are 4 individual sport seats, the coupé comes in standard with the new generation of three-spoke steering wheel with its chromed central spoke that first appeared on the new CLS, and for the first time in automotive engineering, the trim parts are available in the style package and in a porcelain piano-lacquer look for the Edition 1 to complement the car’s exclusive interior feel.
Alternatively there is a choice of a black piano-lacquer look, nougatine burr walnut wood, dark aluminium or brown ash burl.The C-Class Coupé is a fully fledged four-seater featuring four sporty, comfortable integral seats. If desired, the backrests in the rear can be folded down to make the boot larger.
Going online with the new C-Class Coupé
The C-Class Coupé features a new telematics generation which received its global premiere on the saloon and estate models. Major new features include greater operating convenience, larger displays, phone book transfer, display of SMS messages, wireless music reproduction via Bluetooth and a USB interface now accommodated in the centre armrest.
The multimedia system COMAND Online now provides internet access for the first time. When the car is stationary, customers are able to browse freely or surf to a Mercedes-Benz Online service whose pages load particularly rapidly and are also easy to use while on the move. The integrated services include weather information and a special destination search via Google, as well as the option of downloading a route that has been previously configured on a PC using Google Maps and sent to the car. The navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. New features include a 3D display with plastic city views. Also new: routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be saved or imported via an SD card and four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation.
The Becker® MAP PILOT makes a low-cost navigation function, which can also be retrofitted, available for the entry-level Audio 20 CD radio. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls and the Audio 20 display, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.
The market launch of the C-Class Coupé commences in June 2011.