Preview and photos by Michael Bettencourt

Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé
Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé
Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé
Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé
Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé. Click image to enlarge

The full-size Mercedes-Benz CL two-door will soon be no more, because the company has confirmed with the unveiling of the Concept S-Class Coupé this week that the German luxury powerhouse is about to say “see ya’” to the biggest C in its lineup.

Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche also confirmed at the Frankfurt motor show that the company is planning to introduce other S-Class models above the current range, ones that would push the price of the models up to and perhaps slightly beyond the (U.S.) $200,000 mark, without specifying whether these would be two-doors, four-doors or both.

“It’s obvious that the new S-Class is the car in this segment,” said Zetsche at a media roundtable a few hours after the wraps were pulled off the S-Class Coupé concept in the middle of the firm’s massive Mercedes-Benz-only show hall, out of 11 halls in total. “We see a more promising future for Daimler at the top end of the market for models based on the S-Class, ones that are clearly identifiable as a Mercedes-Benz and an S-Class.”

Though the Concept S-Class Coupé aligns its naming structure with the S-Class sedan, the design itself moves away from being a mere two-door version of the four-door. Yes, there’s still no B-pillar in this concept, just as there isn’t in the current CL and E-Class coupes, plus it’s still a huge car for a two-door. But it now incorporates a more SLS-like front end that includes a newly protruding grille, with a “sensual clarity” design theme that must be key, because the phrase or the words individually are subtly used in its press materials about a thousand times per page. The divergent goals were to convey a sense of clean, uncluttered advanced technology, but with emotional appeal.

On the inside, Mercedes-Benz says the cascading white dash was inspired by a “whale’s fins” just before it descends down into the depths. A row of four international clocks in the huge centre touchscreen can be reconfigured to show whatever time zone you choose, with calf-skin leather seats and hand-woven silk for both carpeting and the headliner to luxuriate in any of its four seats.

The familiar 4.7L bi-turbo V8 from the ’14 sedan is under the hood, here putting out 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The same stereo camera also reads the road up to about 160 feet ahead of the car, and electronically adjusts the suspension for the upcoming terrains and bumps before they’re reached. The similarly advanced infotainment system includes software called MoodGrid, which allows the occupants to simply call up a type or genre of music they’d like to hear, and the Gracenote-based software hunts down songs of that type, on one’s own devices, on satellite radio as well as in a cloud-linked 18-million-song database.

Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé
Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé. Click image to enlarge

Looking at the overall current big coupe picture in Canada, the 2014 CL 65 AMG with its turbocharged V12 engine is the most expensive Benz currently available, at $243,000, though that will be eclipsed soon by the upcoming 2014 SLS AMG Black Series, which will start at C$275,000. The more comfort-oriented CL 65 AMG lists for a full 100 grand higher than a garden variety CL 550. So if Mercedes-Benz plans to offer more S-Class derivatives that push it even further upmarket, it’s very possible that we may soon see the first $300,000 S-Class variant in this country in the not-too-distant future.

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