No argument, the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan is a benchmark car in its class on many fronts. Sales underline that point.
But if you think the sedan is a tad on the staid side to look at then you should check out the new C-Class Coupe due early next year.
"The wow factor" doesn't really do justice to this svelte and sexy two door tin top and yes, there's a raunchy AMG 63 version in the mix at launch, along with a cabrio drop top down the track.
It looks sensational from all angles particularly from the rear and has strong cut through on the road judging by the reaction from other drivers and pedestrians.
Australia will get a number of variants starting with the C200 and C300 Coupes – both with 2.0-litre turbo petrol engines in different states of tune. They are common engines across the Benz line up, as is the 2.1-litre turbo diesel in the C250d. Rounding out the local C-Coupe line up is the AMG Sport model complete with a 4.0-litre twin turbo petrol V8 cranking out 375kW (more than 500 horsepower) and a mountainous 700Nm of torque. It's the same "hot inside vee" engine (centre exhaust and turbo installation) as in the C63 sedan, same 7-Speed AMG Speedshift auto transmission too.
The other petrol C-Class Coupes have a 7 G-Tronic transmission, the diesel a nine speed and all drive the rear wheels.
The Coupe is being touted as a long distance tourer...but it also has a decidedly sporty edge
Though pricing is as yet unavailable, expect the new range to kick off close to the current range which means about $65,000 for the C200 Coupe rising to about $165,000 for the AMG 63. The others are dotted in between with the expected biggest seller, the C300 Coupe, coming in around the 80 grand mark.
Power and torque outputs start at 135kW/300Nm for the C200, rising to 180kW/370Nm for the C300, 150kW/500Nm for the C250d and the AMG63 at 375kW/700Nm.
All pass Euro 6 emissions regulations and have efficiency optimised powertrains to save up to 20 per cent fuel compared with the previous model.
The Coupe is being touted as a long distance tourer which it well may be but it also has a decidedly sporty edge, particularly the C300 and the C63 which has a specially developed, wider rear axle that performs a torque vectoring function as well as enhancing the C63's stance.
The coupe rides lower than the sedan, has a longer wheelbase than the previous C-Coupe and is larger in nearly every dimension.
The beautifully styled aerodynamic body cuts a mere 0.26Cd.
Weight has been reduced a little through the use of lightweight materials.
Internet capability is built into all variants along with the latest multimedia features.
An app (Mercedes connect me) can be provided to carry out numerous car functions from anywhere on the planet including central locking, window position and GPS destinations along with simply locating your car in a large carpark.
Driver assist functions are numerous across the range with the higher spec cars gaining more.
CarsGuide went to Spain last week for the international C-Coupe launch, taking the wheel of the C300, the C250d and the awesome C63 AMG.
While the C300 has plenty to offer in every driving application, and the nine speed auto diesel is a cracking good long distance fuel sipper the main focus will be on the aggressive looking (and sounding) C63.
It's a twin turbo direct injection V8 with variable camshaft lift and timing and as already mentioned, is a hot inside vee unit. This places the exhaust outlet in the middle of the engine vee along with the two, twin scroll turbochargers – effectively a quad turbo system.
It punches way above its weight having much more grunt everywhere and a withering top end when compared with the previous 6.2-litre naturally aspirated engine.
Internals are all high end, super strong components to ensure reliable power for the life of the car.
The transmission is a version of the MCT unit currently in the E63 AMG and other high torque sporty Benz V8s. It is not a twin clutch unit but feels like it.
The car is an absolute monster in performance terms
The MCT transmission blips the throttle on down changes and offers multiple drive modes, as does the 7-G-Tronic in the other models.
Where the C63 really has an edge is in the new wider rear axle and electronic limited slip differential , the 19-inch front and wider rear wheels, the carbon ceramic brakes (optional), and so called uni-ball rear suspension bushes that replace the more flexible rubber items. Electronic shock absorbers can be set to a certain stiffness by the driver or operate in 'active' mode.
The car is an absolute monster in performance terms clocking a 0-100km/h sprint in under 4.0-seconds. But that's only a small part of the story as its dynamics, especially the steering and grip is among the best you will find on a four seat production car.
It can be placed with pin point accuracy through turns, has incredible feel and quick responses through the wheel coupled with carbon ceramic brakes that do not fade _at all…you get the picture?
Did I mention the exhaust note?
Nearly as good as the Jag F-Type R for snap, crackle and pop. Wind down the windows through a tunnel and it's a symphony of thunderous sound. Gorgeous.