The first official photographs of Mercedes-Benz's new C-class coupe have been published in Germany, breaking ahead of the car's planned public premiere at the Geneva motor show early next month.
Three published photographs reveal the new coupe that was conceived to go head to head with the popular BMW 3-series and the Audi A5.
Although the new two-door is set to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show, U.S. customers will have to wait until September for the successor to the CLK to go on sale in the States as a 2012 model. Mercedes-Benz sources suggest pricing will fall between those of similarly powered versions of the C-class sedan and the larger and more comprehensively equipped E-class coupe.
Based on the same mechanical package as that of the C-class sedan, with which it shares its 113-inch wheelbase, the new C-class coupe retains the same basic styling cues as its four-door sibling. But the coupe adopts a more sporting two-door layout and a 1.6-inch-lower roofline, complete with B-pillars, a feature Mercedes-Benz has dispensed with on the more uniquely styled E-class coupe.
Two standard versions of the C-class coupe are planned for sale in North America. They include the entry-level C250 CGI running a 201-hp turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, and the C350 CGI with a 302-hp naturally aspirated V6 engine--the latter of which is claimed to boast 0-to-62-mph acceleration in 6.0 seconds, an electronically limited 155-mph top speed and combined cycle consumption of 34.6 mpg on the European cycle.
The performance C63 AMG coupe, set to debut at the New York auto show in April, will join the other models at launch. Details are scarce, but AutoWeek sources suggest that the C63 AMG coupe is in line to receive a new 422-hp naturally aspirated version of AMG's new 5.5-liter V8 featuring cylinder shutdown and automatic stop/start. By contrast, the facelifted C63 AMG sedan continues with AMG's older 457-hp naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8.
Also planned for sale in North American but not scheduled to arrive in showrooms until April 2012 is a four-wheel-drive version of the C350 CGI coupe wearing Mercedes-Benz's familiar 4Matic badges.