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Automotive Intelligence News

News of  August 22, 2000
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Mercedes-Benz to Offer Two-Door C-Class Coupe Next Year; New Sports Coupe Will Make its World Debut at Paris Auto Show
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MONTVALE, N.J. - As the all-new 2001 C-Class sedan is about to go on sale in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz is announcing that it will offer a sporty two-door coupe version of the C-Class in about a year. Visually distinctive and noticeably smaller than both the C-Class sedan and the highly successful Mercedes-Benz CLK coupe line, the C-Class sports coupe will make its first public appearance at the upcoming Paris Auto Show on September 28th. 

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MERCEDES-BENZ 2001 C-CLASS 

Photo: DaimlerChrysler

Supercharged Engine Power

A U.S. version of the new sports coupe will come with the 2.3-liter supercharged engine that powers the popular SLK roadster, and the new model is expected to be priced under $30,000 when it arrives in the States next year. "The name sports coupe really sums up what this fascinating car is all about," said Professor Juergen Hubbert, Board Member of DaimlerChrysler AGresponsible for the Mercedes-Benz Passenger Car Division. "As a two-door car, it underlines the dynamic and progressive nature of the C-Class particularly clearly, while its youthful appearance sets new trends for sporty, exciting driving with the high standards of engineering typical of Mercedes." 

The new sports coupe can be distinguished by its high rear end with an integrated spoiler (that provides aerodynamic downforce for extra stability at cruising speeds) and a tinted panel between the rear lights. In addition, a three-pointed star in the grill clearly identifies the two-door coupe as one of the sportier members of the Mercedes-Benz family. 

Shorter and Lower Than the C-Class Sedan

The C-Class sports coupe is over seven inches shorter than its sedan sibling, and the coupe is about a half inch lower as well.  However, legroom, headroom, and elbowroom, as well as the adjustment range of the seats, are nearly as generous as in the sedan.  The driver and front passenger have contoured sports seats with extra lateral support, while the two rear seats are asymmetrically divided and can be folded forward either individually or together, to increase cargo volume to [convert] 1100 liters. Low liftover height makes easy work of loading this spacious luggage area. 

The sporty styling of the cockpit is accented by high-quality aluminum trim and a three-spoke steering wheel with illuminated control buttons for the car radio, telephone and other functions. 

Windows Between the Taillights And in the Roof

The panel between the taillights doubles as a window, giving the driver extra visibility to the rear, which is especially helpful when parking. The new sports coupe will also be available with an optional panorama sliding sunroof. From the front windshield to the rear spoiler, nearly everything is glass. 

Just press a button, and the front half of the roof glides over the rear, leaving a roof opening that is about a third larger than a conventional sunroof.  And because the front part of the panorama sunroof slides over the outside of the car, it doesn't reduce headroom.  Two electrically operated roller blinds on the inside shade the interior from the sun when the roof is closed. 

All the technical innovations that will make the new C-Class sedan such a trendsetter in the U.S. have also found their way into the sports coupe -- everything from curtain side airbags and the ESP stability system to the optional COMAND integrated display with GPS navigation and an enhanced Tele Aid system. 

(August 18, 2000)

 

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