After a brief hiatus, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe makes a return. Sleek styling, frame-less windows, and a gently tapered tail end are a big departure from the outgoing model. By and large, the cabin is a clone of the C-Class sedan?s, though passengers sit some 20 mm lower. The new C-Class?s platform also offers more rear-seat legroom and head room, though bucket rear seats mean it?s a strict 2+2.
The C-Class Coupe will be offered in three key configurations. The base model is the C300 4Matic, which uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine to produce 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque ? a 40 hp increase over last year?s base engine. It drives through Benz?s 7G-Tronic automatic transmission. Benz?s Dynamic Select system offers five different driving modes, which can further be enhanced when the class-exclusive air suspension system is equipped.
The C300 will be joined by the Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic Coupe, which features a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 that develops 362 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the C300, its all-wheel-drive system has a rear-biased torque distribution for more neutral handling, while its gearbox has two additional gears for a total of nine. 0-100 km/h is said to take just 4.7 seconds.
For those desiring a true adrenalin rush, the Mercedes-AMG C63 is the way to go. Benz has plucked the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 from the AMG GT for the C63. In standard guise it develops 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque ? more than the BMW M4 or Cadillac ATS-V. The C63 S takes things to the next level with 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The latter can hit 100 km/h in less than four seconds, tops out at 290 km/h, and also boasts Porsche-style active engine mounts to give a more direct feel when being pushed. C63s also get locking rear differentials (mechanical in the C63, electronic in the C63 S), plus performance exhaust setups (Sport in the case of the C63, Performance for the C63 S). Both C63s get a seven-speed Speedshift automated manual transmission, plus upgraded suspension and braking systems.
As with the C-Class sedan, the Coupe receives an extensive list of available technology features including head-up display, full LED headlamps, radar-based collision prevention system, blind-spot warning, lane-keeping assist, and emergency autonomous braking at speeds of up to 105 km/h. The base infotainment system is a 7.0-inch screen, which can be upgraded to a larger 8.4-inch unit with navigation that supports tablet-style actions like swiping, pinch-to-zoom, and handwriting.
At the time of writing, only pricing for the C300 4Matic has been released; it retails for $48,100 and includes 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, collision prevention assist, and 16-way power adjustable seats with memory. Pricing for the C43 and C63 will be announced at a later date. In addition, a soft-top convertible will join the range following its debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.