Merc’s current C-Class is undoubtedly the class leading sedan today, beating closest rivals by a mile, where it matters. Their latest move on uniforming product design has likely got C-buyers thinking they’re buying a mini S-Class. It may be cliche, but this recent standardization has worked wonders so far and it is glaringly obvious. It’s kind of like Apple’s MacBook. Same good looks, different measurements, all solidly engineered and a model suited for just about any discerning clientele.
On Board Video: C300 Coupe driven on Sepang Circuit
Still, the superb 4 door C-Class isn’t exactly the prettiest of the lot. Handsome yes but let’s face it, it’s hardly a head turner. So, if you’re not into any of that from a Merc, then you might want this. The new C Coupe.
A scaled down version of what resembles the S63 Coupe, this new C Coupe is majestic on its own and is frankly much more than a simple C-Class with 2 doors removed. The new Coupe is lower than the sedan, also bigger and has a longer wheelbase. In the right colour, with the right options, it just is one of the best looking coupes out there now.
The C Coupe oozes style and dresses like a GT, but in fact underneath it wants to be a sports coupe. Well after all, it is still a reasonably sized C base. Even the brochure boldly says “ultimate sporty driving experience”.
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo four cylinder petrol x 3 variants
Power: C200: 184hp/5,500rpm, C250: 211hp/5,500rpm, C300: 245hp/5,500rpm
Torque: C200: 300nm, C250: 350nm, C300: 370nm
Zerotohundred: C200: 7.3secs, C250: 6.8secs, C300: 6.0secs
Top speed: C200: 235kmh, C250: 250kmh, C300: 250kmh
Transmissions: 7-Speed automatic
Fuel Economy (l/100 km): C200/C250: 5.9-5.4, C300: 6.8-6.3 /100
Dimensions: 4686mm (L), 1810mm (W), 1405mm (H)
Weight from: 1540kg
Let’s find out just how willing Merc’s new entry coupe is, right on our favourite motorsport playground, Sepang Circuit. I was able to get a handful of laps in the C300 Coupe, the highest offering from Mercedes Benz Malaysia.
Leaving the pit exit purring down Sepang’s newly resurfaced circuit, the C300 Coupe feels quite surreal. It is a special place to be in indeed. Panoramic roof lets in just enough light as it brightens the premium-as-promised trims made of metal and leather.
This one had carbon fiber panels specced in. Familiar Merc interior almost no change however seating position is lower in the cockpit akin to a GT car. Electric seats and steering allows minute adjustments for the perfect driving position.
First up, power in the C300 Coupe is fed via 2L turbo direct injection pushing 245hp and 370nm. Off the line, it is brisk and in sync with claimed performance figures. 7 speed G-Tronic Plus transmission is silky and shifts brilliantly when simulating normal highway commute, while general driving sensation is mature and almost GT-like.
The C Coupe’s Sport suspension sits lower and firmer. It is based on conventional gas shocks and springs. No electronic damping here unfortunately, or fortunately depends how you see it. In any case, the sweet multi link axles and sport suspension are well sorted and matched with a touch of firmness.
As the C300 Coupe move into Sports + Mode, good things begin to happen. In this case, steering becomes sharper, gear changes friskier, throttle intensifies, traction control loosens up among a list of other background trickery
On the circuit, the C300 Coupe does try to impress, even for a Merc. It handled well, is taut, has adequate steering feedback and sufficient brakes. I was quite impressed by the potential of this new Merc to be honest and I reckon would translate well in real world driving.
As mentioned, off the line the C300 Coupe is superb. However, as I explore the engine’s top end, power just seem to taper off. It felt a tad dry for a 245hp turbo 4 cylinder. I suspect fuel type is the culprit here where the C300 Coupe in question might just be running regular 95 RON.
For the record, It was a 40 degree heat afternoon and turbo engines especially in today’s high yield, force-fed powerplants are known to suffer from hot intake air temps, therefore suppressing available power.
One other thing worth mentioning is the C300 Coupe’s transmission. While perfectly silky and clever in most situations, the 7-speed autobox is best left to shift on its own, even in Sport Plus when driven at limit. Manual inputs just seem to upset the upshifts, such as prompting a double upshift when all you want is to shift just before the car does. Other than that it is responsive and faultless
Driving experience wise, this 1,565kg GT-like C300 Coupe has definitely raised the bar for non-AMG Merc models of the future. Kudos to Mercedes Malaysia for initiating Sepang as the terrain of choice, where the circuit truly highlighted the Coupe’s new inner athletic talents.
In short, one can think of the C300 Coupe as a luxury coupe that posses genuine sporting character as a bonus. It is not a bonafide sports coupe just yet, there’s the AMG version for that but the C300 Coupe doesn’t need to be. Through Merc’s new, commendable chassis and powertrain, which was missing from previously, this new C Coupe is almost perfect as the definitive luxury coupe, now with the go to match the show.