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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class - C180 Sports Coupe

Benz announces cheaper coupe

Budget blaster: the C180 Sports Coupe will be priced under $50,000.

A new entry-level Mercedes Sports Coupe arrives in January

14 Nov 2001

MERCEDES-BENZ has heralded the expansion of its C-class Sports Coupe range with the addition of an entry-level C180 Sports Coupe at under $50,000.

Employing the C180 sedan's 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, the C180 Sports Coupe will join the $57,400 C200 Kompressor in the Sports Coupe range from January 2002.

At a price of $49,800, the C180 Sports Coupe will be the least expensive passenger car in the Mercedes-Benz range, apart from the A-class hatch.

"Many of the people who are showing an interest in the Sports Coupe are newcomers to Mercedes-Benz, so it's clear that the attractive coupe has introduced the Mercedes brand into a new market segment," said Matthias Lührs, managing director Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars for Australia.

"With over 250 sales in the first few months, the Sports Coupe is making conquests for our brand thanks to its dynamic styling, performance and sporty tuning. In addition, the Sports Coupe is an exciting alternative for customers who had always been hoping that Mercedes would bring out a sporty coupe in a segment below the CLK," said Mr Lührs.

"The new C180 Sports Coupe will continue this conquest trend, and offer the young and young-at-heart an attractive, affordable entry to the sportier side of Mercedes motoring," said Mr Lührs.

Producing a peak power output of 95kW, with 190Nm of torque available at 4000rpm, the C180 is claimed to sprint to 100km/h in a lazy 11 seconds and has a claimed top speed of 210 km/h. Claimed fuel consumption is 9.4 L/100km.

Like the C200 Kompressor Sports Coupe released in August, the C180 Sports Coupe is based on the successful W203 C-class sedan, and includes all of its technical innovations like windowbags, adaptive airbags for driver and front-seat passenger, Headlamp Assist, multifunction steering wheel, central display and fibre optic technology.

As with the C200K coupe, Mercedes-Benz says the C180 coupe offers $1000 more equipment value than the equivalent C-class sedan and delivers the most extensive standard equipment list in its market segment.

Standard equipment will include 16-inch alloy wheels, ABS with Brake Assist, Active Service System (ASSYST), Electronic Stability Program, halogen front fog lamps, heated exterior mirrors, automatic climate control, single CD with six speakers, electronic cruise control with variable speed limiter, outside temperature display, power windows, remote central locking, mobile phone pre-installation, adjustable steering column (height and reach), trip computer, brake pad wear indicator and split-fold rear seats.

The new C180 Sports Coupe comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission will be available as an option.

An extensive optional equipment list will echo that of the C200K coupe, including the COMAND control and display system, Parktronic and Thermotronic luxury automatic climate control with sensor control and activated charcoal filter, plus a panoramic sliding sunroof.

Like the C200K coupe, the C180 Sports Coupe - codenamed CL203 - employs the W203 C-class three-link front suspension, new rack-and-pinion steering, multi-link independent rear suspension, torsion bar stabilisers and all-round disc brakes.

The C200K coupe's Evolution and Evolution AMG sports packages will also be available for the C180 coupe. The Evolution package comprises 17-inch light-alloy wheels, 225/45-section tyres, sports suspension, lower ride height and leather sports steering wheel, while the Evolution AMG pack goes even further with staggered 17-inch alloys and other features.

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