Even with three floors’ worth of futuristic concept cars and the debut of an S-Class convertible to compete with, Mercedes-Benz’s striking new C-Class coupe still got plenty of attention at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The new coupe is the two-door version of the latest generation of C-Class, which bowed in 2014, and it’s both longer and lighter than its predecessor. The exterior’s design language is clearly inspired by the S-Class, from the headlamps to the decklid, but is applied to a car that could cost half as much.
Mercedes’ attention to design isn’t just about good looks, however. The C-Class Coupe now has a drag coefficient of just 0.26. By comparison, the slippery Tesla Model S has a drag coefficient of 0.24.
That aerodynamic design is just one of the ways Mercedes says it increased fuel economy by 20 percent. Additionally, body panels are now made of lighter, higher-strength alloys, and the four-cylinder engines on offer are more efficient than those they replace.
Put together, the individual components of the C-Class are also designed for sportier handling by adding power, removing weight, and stiffening the frame. In addition, buyers can opt for an electronically controlled AIRMATIC air suspension, with continuous damping at the front and rear axles.
Inside, the dashboard may be unchanged from the C-Class sedan, but both front and rear seats are unique to the coupe. The center console flows into the rear of the car, and the door side panels match those in the rear, too, which Mercedes says emphasizes the coupe’s character.
The 2016 C-Class coupe will be available starting in December 2015. We expect it to cost more than the sedan, but offer many of the same powertrain choices.