The overall message conveyed by the selection of vehicles in the Museo Automovilístico de Málaga is that cars can be expressions of great design. Believe me, this museum is packed with such cars, examples of which range from the beautiful to the bizarre. They all make an impression.
Fittingly, this would be the location where we’d first meet the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupé, a vehicle described by its makers as, “sportiness meets beauty.” I think the point would have been made no matter where we first encountered the C 300 Coupe, as this is a car that effortlessly turns heads, its lines deceptively simple and captivating.
It’s a looker, no doubt about that; a classic coupe that won’t be available until March 2016, with buyers for the higher performance Mercedes-AMG C 63 variants having to wait until July to get up close. Hence the trip to Spain, with pre-production C 300s arranged in the museum plaza and a busy driving itinerary planned over two days.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupé is a vehicle of perfect proportions and sumptuous lines. It rides 15 millimetres lower, and measured from the roofline is 37 mm lower than the C 300 sedan. Compared with the outgoing model, the new Coupe is longer by a substantial 95 mm, gaining 80 mm in the wheelbase. It’s also wider by 40 mm with front and rear track increasing by 29 and 10 mm respectively. It is, in short, longer, wider and sleeker and 50 kilograms lighter than its predecessor, its designers stretching and shaping it into a wonderful form that both expresses and facilitates its purpose.
It’s “form follows function,” as one engineer put it, paying homage to the Bauhaus tradition that clearly still informs and inspires German design.
It also gets more interior volume (to return to the mundane), happily creating greater room especially for the driver and front passenger. Mercedes-Benz is also particularly proud of its latest Coupé’s low 0.26 coefficient of drag which contributes to a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption.
What you can’t see from outside is the lowered suspension’s new four-link front axle designed for more agile handling, better ride quality and a reduction of road noise and tire vibration. It’s a sport-tuned suspension, in other words, but one that is still capable of delivering an agreeable ride.
The standard engine is a 2.0L, four that generates 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque (a V6 C 450 is on the way late next year). A 7G-TRONC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is the standard gearbox (no manual is offered in Canada). This combination will move the C 300 from 0-100 km/h in just over six seconds.
See the slideshow on autoTRADER.ca 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé
The car arrives with an array of standard and optional safety and infotainment features. Canadian C 300 Coupés will all be 4MATIC all-wheel drive versions and will be equipped with the Dynamic Select drive system that offers ECO, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual drive modes. Other standard features will include power seats, memory package with power steering column, rain sensing windshield wipers, panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control, SmartKey remote, interior chrome package, heated front seats and windshield washers, eCall system, split folding rear seats and 17-inch twin five-spoke wheels.
Also standard are an array of on-road technologies including Crosswind Assist (a self-explanatory active steering assist), Dynamic Cornering Assist and Collision Prevention Assist Plus, a combination of radar-based distance warning, assisted braking and autonomous partial braking designed to lessen the danger of rear-end collisions. Other technologies, like PARKTRONIC self-parking, a 360-degree camera, a multi-purpose head-up display and air suspension are optional.