BMW teams up with Italian styling gurus at Pininfarina for slick new coupe
Revealed: Mercedes new baby CLS ‘Concept Style Coupe’
Mercedes has revealed a new 'CLS-junior' four-door coupe that will officially be revealed at the Beijing Motor Show on 23 April - and offers heavy hints as to a future production four-door coupe from Mercedes.
The new four-door coupe concept is based on the highly flexible Mercedes MFA platform used in the new B-Class and A-Class and, admits head of design at Mercedes, Gorden Wagener, is "almost production standard."
The Concept Style Coupe "sets a new benchmark for avantgarde design in the executive segment", he continued. "Its breathtaking proportions, sinewy fluid surfaces and sculptural lines are the physical expression of our dynamic design idiom."
What is special about the design of the Mercedes Concept Style Coupe?
The sleek lines are perhaps the best example yet of Mercedes' very appealing new design style. It's clearly linked to models such as the B-Class and new A-Class, particularly around the front end, but also has distinct appeal that may do for this sector what the CLS did for the large four-door coupe sector: define it, and set the benchmark for others to mimic.
Mercedes is proud of the Concept Style Coupe's front end, which has a highly rakish look, with a bonnet that flows straight into the nose - it's surprisingly reminiscent of cars from sectors much more sporting than this. Indeed, the car's nose, with its wide grille and sharply-cut lower front bumper, would not look out of place on an SLS AMG.
Elegant and stylish
Beautifully profiled sides have two sharp creases that flow rearwards into the back wheels: there's another bulging crease above the rear arches, into which the smoothly profile roofline flows. It's a very elegant car indeed, and is as pure and stylish as you'd hope a model defining a new sector would be.
Indeed, is it the prettiest new Mercedes we've seen in many years? We reckon it could well be.
Are there any special new features on the Mercedes Concept Style Coupe?
Mercedes tells us to check out the headlights: they shine red in standby mode, which it says is like the "intimidating eyes of a predatory animal". More production-relevant are indicators, whose individual LEDs light up in succession - like a piano keyboard, reckons Mercedes - which should make them stand out more on the road.
The side windows are frameless and there's no central B-pillar either. The roof has a similarly elegant solution: a metal rib, shaped like a roll bar, is all that separates the panoramic glass roof from the rear screen - another extremely neat touch.
The exhausts are well-designed too, integrating seamlessly into the diffuser set into the rear bumper. Like all aspects of the Concept Style Coupe, they are beautifully profiled.
What is the interior of the Mercedes Concept Style Coupe like?
The interior is equally elegant. Instead of a traditional fascia layout, the Concept Style Coupe has a more streamlined design, consisting of a wing-like top section, into which two sporty cowled dials are set. This fuss-free look is reminiscent of classic cars and is refreshingly shorn of the detailing seen in so many modern cars.
Below this simple top layer are all the control features: a stand-proud flatscreen-style display interface, sitting atop turbine-style vents, the familiar Mercedes stereo control and, newly located onto the centre console, the heater dials.
Do you dig the neon green piping and topstitching? We do: it features on the instrument panel, steering wheel, doorpanels and the seats themselves. If enough people like it, we're sure Mercedes will offer it in production. Details like this really do show this is a truly modern Mercedes.
What may not make it to production are those trick air vents, whose backlit colouring changes according to temperature: red for warm air, blue for cold and fluorescent yellow for a mid-range temperature - to match, of course, the piping for the seats...
Has Mercedes included any clever new technology inside the Concept Style Coupe?
The COMAND multimedia system is 'always on', says Mercedes, so passengers can hook up to it at any time, not just when the car is running.
It does this through utilising cloud computing - the software for the COMAND Online apps are not actually stored in the vehicle, but run on Mercedes' Daimler Vehicle Backend system. This also allows any software updates to be beamed straight to the car, rather than the owner having to take it to a dealer.
What engines will the Mercedes Concept Style Coupe use?
Mercedes will fit a new 2.0-litre direct injection turbo petrol motor to the Concept Style Coupe. Producing 211hp, this has an advanced combustion system that allows lean-burn running, which should mean it's highly fuel efficient.
Four-wheel drive and seven-speed
It will be mated to a seven-speed 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission, which will drive a 4MATIC four-wheel drive system. Despite Mercedes' past struggles in converting four-wheel drive to right-hand drive production, UK buyers should still be able to enjoy this variant - the new platform doesn't have the constraints that have previously stopped the right-hand drive conversion. The alternative will be a front-wheel drive setup.
What does the boss of Mercedes say about the Concept Style Coupe?
"The Concept Style Coupé is expressive and powerful in its design", said Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
"We are staking our claim very clearly here. This is the model against which sporty vehicles in the executive segment will have to measure themselves in future."
How soon will the Mercedes Concept Style Coupe go on sale?
It's too soon to say for sure, but the Concept Style Coupe could go on sale some time in 2013: this so-called 'concept' seems pretty far down the line in our eyes, suggesting Mercedes is already working on getting it showroom-ready.
But what will it be called? Well, while Concept Style Coupe suggests the 'CSC' name, our money's on 'CLA'. Whatever it's called, though, one thing's for sure: if it looks like this, it will be a hit...
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