By David Colman
For: Epic Redesign, New Sporting Tack for MB
Against: Steering Wheel Obscures Speedo, Imprecise Throttle Tip-In From Standing Start
Historically, Mercedes products have enjoyed genetic markers that distinguish the brand. Bank vault construction, sumptuous seats and Baroque trim flourishes are descriptors that come to mind. Even blindfolded, you could climb into any Mercedes and tell that you weren’t in a BMW or a Lexus. But along with the Mercedes positives tagged a number of negatives, like weightiness, complexity, and dulled reflexes that drove potential customers into competitors’ showrooms. Mercedes has answered many of those issues by redesigning their C Class Coupe for 2012.
From the outside, the new Coupe is distinguished by the deftness of its visual language. Mercedes stylists have concocted a benchmark treat, with swooping roofline and crisp flank creases emphasizing the car’s low 55.8 inch height. There’s a delicacy inherent in the new coupe’s design that has been absent from Mercedes products since the SL 230 debuted nearly half a century ago. The lighter touch is also evident once you slip inside the cabin. The standard front sports seats are less monumental than before, more cosseting than ever. Though reduced in visual mass, the driver’s seat offers 10-way power adjustment, 4 modes of lumbar support, and 3 memory settings (for seat, mirror and steering wheel position).