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News - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class - Sports Coupe

Melbourne show: Benz displays new coupe

Classy coupe: The sports coupe goes on sale in Australia late this year.

Mercedes-Benz hopes the sports coupe will attract new fans to the marque

Mercedes-Benz logo28 Feb 2001

By BRUCE NEWTON

MERCEDES-Benz will show off its new "cut-price" C-class Sports Coupe at this week's Melbourne motor show.

The booted sports coupe is based on the latest generation C-class sedan, although about 18cm shorter, and will be introduced to Australia in August.

Pricing is expected to be slightly less than the equivalent sedan C-class model.

"The sports coupé is pitched at newcomers whose requirements were not fully addressed in the past, newcomers to the world of Mercedes-Benz, newcomers to the C-class and newcomers to our sportier models," said Mr Matthias Luehrs, managing director for Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars.

The sports coupé is powered by a choice of two four-cylinder engines, including the 120kW, 2.0-litre supercharged engine and the naturally aspirated four-cylinder, 95kW engine.

Mercedes-Benz is introducing two world firsts with the sports coupe, an optionally available panoramic sunroof, and a "sequentronic" six-speed automated transmission.

The panoramic sunroof is a large glass area which extends over the entire roof.

At the press of a button, the front half of the roof slides back, leaving an opening that is about a third larger than that of a conventional sunroof.

And because the front part of the panoramic sunroof slides over the outside of the car, it doesn't affect the passengers' headroom.

Two electrically operated roller blinds on the inside shield the interior of the coupé from the sun when the roof is closed.

Sequentronic dispenses with mechanical linkages and a clutch pedal. A slight touch on the shift lever and the system automatically declutches, changes gear and re-engages the clutch. It also has an automatic mode.

An electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission, with standard fitted one-touch gearshift, is standard equipment for the C-class sports coupé. A six-speed manual transmission is also optional.

The sports coupe is well equipped with safety features including windowbags, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), adaptive driver and passenger airbags and Headlamp Assist.

The COMAND operating and display system with dynamic route guidance, the Linguatronic voice control system for the telephone and radio and the sensor-controlled Thermotronic luxury automatic climate control with activated charcoal filter are optionally available.

In other Mercedes-Benz show news: A diesel version of the C-class, the C220 CDI, was unveiled and will go on sale for $66,900. The new 2.2-litre, four-cylinder engine produces 105kW and 315Nm.

The E-class has been upgraded with COMAND and an electric sunroof standard on the E320, E430 and E55 AMG standard leather on E240 and E270 CDI Elegance and Avantgarde sedan lines and a mobile phone kit installation standard on all models.

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