Now that Mercedes has fully redesigned the C-Class sedan, it's time for the coupe version to face some radical changes. Along with a more compelling design inside and out, the C300 is lighter than its predecessor and features a host of advanced safety features.
In our first official look at the C300, the compact coupe reveals its stunning new body. Take one glance at the model, and you'll notice it adopts some of the best design features from the S-Class Coupe. That diamond radiator grille sparkles just as brightly as it does on the larger model, and both cars feature a sloped roofline, long hood, and short rear deck. Bold character lines running across the C-Class coupe give it a sculpted look, complemented by standard 18-inch wheels and LED headlights.
Mercedes hasn't released a spec sheet on dimensions for the C300 but says the new coupe is 1.6 inches wider and features a 3.1-inch-longer wheelbase. This update gives it a more athletic appearance despite the coupe being 3.7 inches longer. Mercedes says to expect increased shoulder room, elbowroom, and headroom in all seats.
Thanks to the increased use of aluminum, Mercedes says the C-Class Coupe is lighter than its predecessor. But its body is also stiffer and stronger with more high-strength materials, which should improve driving dynamics, reduce noise, and bolster crash safety. A standard steel sport suspension comes with tauter springs and damping to make the coupe slightly lower to the ground than the sedan. A new four-link front axle with wheel suspension decoupled from the spring strut promises to help with grip, lateral stability, and steering response. Just like on the sedan, an air suspension is optional.
As previously reported, the C300 coupe features the same engine as the base sedan. That is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four engine delivering 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The unit is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and can be paired with either rear- or all-wheel drive.
Inside the cabin, look for a larger, freestanding display that can be seen in today's newer Mercedes cars. The standard 7-inch screen display—an 8.4-inch unit is optional—sits above a new dashboard that features stronger character lines for a more three-dimensional feel. All the controls have been redesigned; the use of a new COMAND knob and touchpad means the center console is no longer littered with a hodgepodge of buttons. Standard features inside the cabin include a panoramic sunroof, automatic seat belt feeder, keyless start, power front seats with memory, and five drive select modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual.
A number of safety features also come standard, including Mercedes' Pre-Safe that preps the driver for a collision. More important, standard autonomous braking takes effect at speeds up to 124 mph to avoid collisions with traveling vehicles. Optional safety technologies include Distronic Plus with steering assist and an adaptive cruise control system that can steer a car if it drifts out of a lane and can follow vehicles ahead even when there are no clear lane markings on the road. Meanwhile, active parking assist takes control of steering and brake inputs to help drivers maneuver into parallel parking spaces.
More information, including C-Class Coupe pricing and AMG specs, will be released at a later date. The C-Class Coupe should make an appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September; we expect more details then. The C300 hits U.S. dealerships in spring 2016.