Today, I would like to bring up a trend in German cars that I have not seen in the American or Japanese brands. The Germans are focusing on coupes or sedans that appear to be styled like a coupe. Coupe sales have dropped significantly over the last ten years. Mercedes has replaced the CLK coupe with the E-class coupe for 2010. The CLK was based on the C-class and the new E-class couple is a blend of C-class and E-class components.
A full-length moonroof will be standard, if you want more of an open air motoring experience the E-class convertible will be introduced as a 2011 model.
The new coupe will also follow a similar powertrain program as the current CLK, with the current 268 hp., 3.5 liter V-6 as the base motor and the 382 hp., 5.5-liter V-8 as the upgrade. Each motor will be attached to a new seven speed automatic transmission. Standard on all coupes is a variable-damping “Agility Control” suspension, which has not been explained how it works. I would suspect that it similar to GM magnetic ride control which controls the pressure in the shocks depending on driving conditions. There are no immediate plans for an all-wheel-drive model to compete with the Audi A5.
It is anticipated that Mercedes will manufacture an AMG version powered by the fabulous 6.2-liter V-8, which should have about 507 hp.
The E-class coupe has all the safety features of the E-class sedan. An interesting feature is the PRE-SAFE system...which attempts to reduce the severity of crashes by applying the brakes and tightening the seat belts when a collision is imminent. The E-class also has a new monitoring system, called Attention Assist, which tries to alert the driver if it detects that the driver is sleepy. The E-class coupe made its North American debut at this April’s 2009 New York auto show.
My take on the E-class coupe is that Mercedes has decided to make attractively styled cars. I would recommend that you put it on your shopping list.