Mercedes-Benz has released details of the 2012 C-Class Coupe and it will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. This is a completely new model, as there was no coupe earlier in the C-Class line-up, although it is replacing the CLK-Class. Two models have been revealed, the C250 and the C350.
A 201-horsepower C250 will be the base offering in North America. Powered by the german’s new 1.8-liter direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder, the engine puts out 229 lb-ft. of torque across a relatively broad 2,200 to 4,300 rpm band. Mercedes estimates that it will hit 60 mph in 7.1 seconds before topping out at 130 mph. Fuel economy should check in at around 24 mpg combined and 30 mpg on the highway.
Buyers who choose to step up will find that the C350 uses Mercedes-Benz’s 3.5-liter V6, which puts out 302 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque in this application. The automaker says that 60 mph ticks by in 5.9 seconds and that the car should average about 22 mpg combined. Both are mated exclusively to Mercedes’ 7-speed automatic transmission, which drives the rear wheels.
The new C-Class Coupe is almost the splitting image of the C-Class sedan, and even uses the same front fascia and fenders as its four-door siblings. Coupe models do receive a sweeping panoramic glass roof that’s nearly an inch and a half lower than the sedan. Despite shedding a pair of doors, the coupe still rides on the same 108.7-inch wheelbase as the sedan, and is only a half-inch shorter and 100 pounds lighter. Mercedes continues to use a strut-type suspension in front and a five-link independent setup for the rear axle. Sport-tuned dampers are standard, although electrically adjustable units are available as a special-order option.
Standard equipment on both models includes 14-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, a 5.8-inch information display screen, HD radio, nine airbags, and Mercedes’ driver awareness detection system. C350 models also receive heated front seats, a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound system, an iPod interface, and walnut interior trim at no extra charge. Navigation, xenon headlamps, keyless ignition, and larger 18-inch rims are optional on both models.
But what really makes us gravitate towards the C-class coupe is its upcoming AMG version, which is described to us by Affalterbach engineers as a real M3 killer. It will likely be powered by a detuned version of AMG’s new turbocharged, 5.5-liter V-8, and Mercedes is said to be dialing up ultraquick powertrain and chassis responses. The AMG version of the coupe is tipped to come along in another month at the New York Auto Show.