Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sports Coupe to Make Debut in LA
12 December 2000Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sports Coupe to Make Debut in Los Angeles New C-Class Sedan Already a Hit - 2001 to Include Brazil Production
MONTVALE, N.J., Dec. 11 On the heels of the phenomenal success of the all-new C-Class sedan, Mercedes-Benz will hold the North American debut of its new C-Class sports coupe during press activities preceding the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, January 6-14 at the L.A. Convention Center. Visually distinctive and noticeably smaller than both the C-Class sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLK coupe line, the sporty two-door coupe version of the highly successful C-Class will go on sale in the U.S. this summer. Sedan Sibling Already A Hit When the sleek new four-door became an instant sales success this fall in the U.S., the global Mercedes-Benz organization began looking at ways to meet this growing market demand. As a result, shipments of C-Class sedans from Germany will be supplemented by production from Brazil beginning early next year. The Mercedes-Benz plant in Juiz de Fora, near Sao Paulo, has been turning out cars with quality that rivals the factories in Germany. The Least Expensive Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. A U.S. version of the new sports coupe will arrive in the States next summer with the 2.3-liter supercharged engine that powers the popular SLK roadster, and the new model is expected to be priced well under $30,000. The new sports coupe can be distinguished by its high back with a functional aerodynamic spoiler 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 38.9 cubic feet. Low liftover height makes easy work of loading this spacious luggage area. Windows Between the Taillights And in the Roof 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. 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. The new sports coupe is the first step in the evolution of the C-Class from a sedan family to a comprehensive model line. In addition to the youthful sports coupe, an elegant wagon and a high-performance AMG sedan version will also be added to the lineup during 2001.