The Beijing Motor Show this year had some real hot stuffs for sure. Rumours and leaked images apart, Mercedes-Benz rolled out its Concept Style Coupe at the Transmission LA:AV CLUB at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) on 20th April 2012. Undoubtedly this has been the automaker’s much awaited surprise vehicle. And hence the welcome had to be huge and exciting. Expected to ride atop Mercedes' new MFA platform, the CSC is a close-to-production glimpse at the automaker's long-awaited compact sedan. Well, you better call it CLA as that’s what it will likely be badged when you see it in your local showroom!
At a glimpse: Styled like a smaller version of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the CSC features sleek and aggressive bodywork over 20-inch turbine-style wheels. The roof features a large panoramic glass panel allowing plenty of light to spill into the four-place cabin. Under the hood of the concept is a turbocharged four-cylinder, rated at 211 horsepower, sending its power to the automaker's 4Matic all-wheel drive system.
A little more into it: A little longer than a current C-class and a lot more sexy, this is the third variant on the new A-class (the first being the new B-class, which of course was launched before the A in Mercedes’ slightly dyslexic new model programme). All three cars share what Benz calls the ‘MFA’ structure for ‘medium front-drive architecture. Mercedes-Benz‘s latest showpiece, the Concept Style Coupé, has been revealed, an “almost production-standard” design exercise likely to preview the next-gen CLS. A four-door with a riot of concave and convex surface detailing, the CSC features “powerdomes” in the bonnet and a diamond-finish grille, while the wheels are the usual concept frippery and the indicator lights manage to look like evil vampire eyes. “In standby mode they shine red” Mercedes gurgles of the indicators, “when they are activated, the individual elements light up one after another in a “Mexican wave” effect.” Current concept flourish-du-jour, the panoramic glass roof, is also present and correct, as are strangely “rippled” door mirrors. Inside there’s lashings of carbon-fiber and leather, all edged in neon green pinstriping, with anthracite-coloured Alcantara rubbing supple shoulders with suede. Switchgear gets a black anodised finish, and while the seats have been recycled from the A-Class Sports model, they do get an illuminated, electroplated insert. In fact, light-up elements seem to be Mercedes’ fetish of the moment, with the vents glowing red when blowing hot, blue when cold, and matching the pinstriping when at an ambient temperature. A COMAND Online in-car entertainment system with cloud integration rounds the dash out. With all this style and leather you could forget to actually drive the CSC, though what’s under the hood might surprise you. Mercedes has used its 2.0-litre 211hp new petrol engine with a 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission. No word on how, exactly, the Concept Style Coupé may translate to a production model, but Mercedes isn’t being too coy about its ambitions for the car.
Concept model Vs Showroom model: There’s the new turbo-four 2.0-litre under the bonnet - with 211bhp – that will make it to the showroom, and there’s also seven-speed double-clutch transmission. This version has 4Matic four-wheel drive, but Mercedes in the UK has never been too keen on that option (as opposed to the snowy bits of the USA where every model seems to have it). Don’t expect to see the 21ins rims in reality either. Not even Mercedes-Benz can make a car of this size ride well on such monsters. And we’re unlikely to see some of the cute concept ideas like headlamps that gently glow red when they’re not on (although we admit, we would quite like to). And we hope some of that that silky, glowing carbon loveliness on the inside survives. Oh well, with an exterior like that and a price tag considerably less than a ‘proper’ CLS, we ain’t complaining…