Mercedes Benz has unveiled a stand-alone model series in the guise of the new Mercedes Benz CLC, the compelling entry-level model in the Mercedes Benz coupé family. The Sports Coupé's design, technology and equipment meet the discerning requirements of young drivers looking for an athletic car that gives an involving drive, while at the same time delivering the hallmark Mercedes quality standards in terms of safety, comfort, environmental compatibility and functionality. Compared with the previous Sports Coupé, the Mercedes engineers have newly developed or enhanced over 1100 components. Engineering highlights of the CLC include a new direct-steer system for even more agile cornering, state-of-the-art infotainment systems featuring a colour display, Europe-wide DVD or hard-disc navigation and media interface, Parktronic as standard on all modelsas well as an uprated four-cylinder engine that now develops 184 hp and improved fuel consumption compared with the outgoing model.
The compact body dimensions and the muscular lines emphasise the sporty appearance of the new Mercedes Benz CLC. The Mercedes designers have completely redesigned the front and rear so that the Sports Coupé embodies the contemporary Mercedes design idiom with its distinctive coupé radiator grille featuring a large Mercedes star in the centre, and the new projection-beam headlamps. The S-Class, the luxury CL-Class Coupé and the C-Class provided the stylistic models. The redesigned large tailgate conceals a variable boot with up to 1100 litres of luggage capacity. The new tail lights, the long row of LEDs which make up the third brake light unit and the rear bumper subdivide the rear and emphasise its width.
The interior of the new Mercedes Benz CLC is akin to a contemporary tailor-made suit -- custom-fit and comfortable. Sports seats with better lateral support than ever, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, automatic climate control and brushed aluminium trim elements form part of the standard specification. A choice of seat covers in black, alpaca grey and a particularly stylish combination of black and red are available to give the interior its individual colour scheme. The CLC also benefits from having ISOFIX fixtures and Child Seat Recognition as standard.
The Mercedes Benz CLC Sport comes with new direct-steer system and 18-inch wheels as standard
Mercedes Benz has put together a Sport model for drivers looking for extra sporting flair. It includes exclusive engineering innovations and equipment extras such as 18-inch light-alloy wheels, wide-base tyres, headlamps with black inner surrounds, sports suspension with lowered body, leather sports steering wheel and dark brushed aluminium trim elements. Another special feature which the CLC inherits from its racing car counterparts is the instrument cluster with red needles for the speedometer and rev counter. Once the engine is switched on, these needles spin once around the dial before returning to their start positions.
The standard specification for the Sport includes a new direct-steer system, which further enhances the agile driving experience of the Mercedes Benz CLC while adding an important boost to safety. This new feature is based on the speed-sensitive power steering and also offers a variable rack ratio which changes as a function of the steering angle so that the driver only has to turn the wheel slightly when cornering; the Sports Coupé therefore responds far more spontaneously to steering commands and offers even sportier handling. As a result, the direct-steer system also improves handling safety in critical situations -- for instance when taking sudden evasive action -- as the field tests conducted by the Mercedes engineers demonstrate.