Mercedes C300 Coupe

Elegant new two-door with suave performance

GED BULMER

FIRST OVERSEAS DRIVE

ONCE you’re done gorging on reviews of the thunderous Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe, we dare you to take the time to check your bank statement and then calculate the monthly repayments on its weapons-grade purchase price.

If at this point reality bites, then consider the not-quite-so diabolically-potent but still devilishly handsome C300 Coupe.

Arriving around April, the new C300 Coupe will effectively fill the place in the current C-coupe range inhabited by the C250.

Its modus operandi could be summarised as “modestly sporty but still reasonably affordable” and Mercedes-Benz Australia expects it to be the populist choice in its new five-model C-Class coupe range.

Sitting mid-ships in that line-up, the C300 Sport, as it’s likely to be badged here, slots between the base C200 petrol and C250 diesel at one end, and the sports-oriented C450 and AMG C63 S at the other.

Final pricing and spec weren’t confirmed as we went to press, but M-B Australia forecasts a circa five percent premium over the equivalent C-Class sedan, which should see the C300 Coupe come in at around $75K.

Beneath that classic long bonnet sits the range-topping version of Benz’s 2.0-litre fourcylinder turbo-petrol engine family. Though available in Europe in three states of tune, here in Australia we’ll get only two.

Featuring a tiny turbo that revs to an incredible 228,000rpm, and mustering peak torque from a diesel-like 1300rpm, this feistyfour punches out a strong 180kW and 370Nm in C300 trim.

The extra 45kW and 70Nm over the C200 shaves a convincing 1.7sec from its 0-100km/h sprint, now 6.0sec flat. That should ensure the C300 can comfortably see off Audi’s A5 2.0TFSI quattro, although BMW’s 428i might still have the wood on it, due in part to the latter’s eight-speed auto.

Despite having the new 9G-tronic nine-speed available, Mercedes-Benz Australia has chosen to launch only the C250d coupe with the new transmission, meaning the C300 makes do with the ‘old’ but still impressively smooth and effective 7G-tronic.

The engine has an almost supercharger-like whine to it when pushed towards its 6500rpm redline, underpinned by a rorty yet refined four-pot throatiness that suggests real character.

Throttle response is impressively crisp throughout, but it’s in the mid to upper reaches that the engine really gets energised, delivering deceptively quick rolling acceleration and nailing its midrange sportster brief.

It’s almost enough to take your mind off that ferocious C63 Coupe.

But not quite. i ht till

Added dimensions

The new C300’s weight is kept in check via the use of aluminium suspension and body components, but despite this, its 1565kg kerb weight is still a handful of kilos heavier than the outgoing C250. It sits on a wheelbase that’s 80mm longer than its predecessor, with ride height that’s on par with the outgoing coupe, but 15mm lower than the C-Class sedan. Beneath the skin is the same four-link front and multi-link independent rear suspension that debuted on the C-Class sedan.

PLUS & MINUS

Seven-speed auto as standard when ‘lesser’ diesel gets nine ratios Classic coupe proportions; sparkling turbo four-pot performance