Coupé design: An experience for all the senses


CLC, CLS and CL share common family styling features
Sophisticated design for cars with exceptional character
Lines symbolise agility, elegance and exclusivity

Coupés have always been very special cars. Especially Mercedes coupés – the epitome of elegance and exclusivity in automotive design. No other car brand
has such a proud coupé tradition. Its designers have always taken great care to ensure that the coupés are not merely taken to be variants of the saloons, but clearly distinguish themselves as individual models in their own right.
With a wide, louvred radiator grille, the large, centrally located Mercedes star and striking headlamps extending well into the front wings, all the members of the current Mercedes Coupé family share a number of design features which reveal their common heritage.

And yet these shared elements of the Mercedes design idiom are combined with individual styling features which give each Coupé an unmistakable identity of its own.As the head of the family the luxury CL Coupé exudes effortless superiority, the four-door CLS seduces the eye with its emotional lines and the new CLC accentuates its youthful, sporty genes.

The Mercedes style is characterised by clarity and calm: no extra flourishes, no superfluous embellishments and no design complexities. Instead there is a harmonious interaction between tautly drawn lines and large, tranquil surfaces. Less is more: the design idiom concentrates on what is important, thereby emphasising the intrinsic and functional beauty of things.

Front: highly expressive arrow shape

One typical feature of the contemporary Mercedes design idiom is the arrow shape of the front end - a styling touch with a symbolic character that emphasises typical attributes such as forwards thrust and agility. The front design of the new CLC embraces this hallmark and takes it to new heights. For instance, the distinctive line, which adds visual emphasis to the V‑shape, begins at the bottom louvre of the radiator grille and extends along the whole bonnet. It then reappears at the rear end, divides up the spoiler and chrome trim strip and finally flows downwards into the bumper. Design quality down to the last detail.

This impression is reinforced inside and out by numerous nods to the world of motor racing, such as the subtle side air intakes in the front bumper of the CLC.
Forwards thrust, power and performance potential – on the CLS these characteristics are further enhanced by the muscular contours of the wings. And on the CL this anatomy is imbued with even more symbolism: intentionally rather taut and physical, the "muscles" in the guise of the pronounced, rounded contours of the wings arch over the wheels, hinting at the power residing beneath the elegant outer skin of the CL-Class. The interplay between lines and surfaces is equally expressive, as the soft, rounded forms of the bumper and wings contrast with the taut outside lines of the bonnet - visual demarcation lines which lend additional contours to the front end and mark a transition to the large, calm surface of the bonnet itself.

Side: intriguing lines

The hallmark of the Mercedes style - the interplay between taut lines and large surfaces - is also striking on the Coupés. On the CL two lines drawn at different heights give the flanks their formal structure, subdivide the large areas and act as major styling features to define the dignified appearance of the car's elongated silhouette. These lines have a special visual impact, attract attention and appeal to the emotions of the observer.

On the CLC the dominant upper edge of the wings, the downward-slanting shoulder line and the sweeping roof line characterise the side design. The wedge-shaped side view which harmonises perfectly with the car's racy temperament is truly striking. The message is "Ready for action" - all you have to do is get in, start the engine and press the accelerator to actively experience the verve of the Mercedes Sports Coupé.
On the CLS the distinctive shoulder line takes its cue from the dynamic, rounded form of the front wheel arch, stretching along the entire length of the body before merging effortlessly into the elegant rear light cluster. The tail lights continue along the same lines, creating a seamless visual link with the rear bumper. This feature allows the designers to achieve the perfect balance between lines and surfaces. It also helps to create an impressively long appearance, thus further enhancing the sporty elegance of the body.

Rear: harmonious finale

At the rear too, the Mercedes Coupés share common styling touches, each with its own individual twist. On the CLS the rear design takes its cue from the slight but nonetheless evocative curve of the roof line extending over the muscular bodyshell and gracefully flowing into the C-pillar before being drawn down gently into the rear section, adding the finishing visual touch to the gently sloping rear end.
On the CL the Mercedes designers were at pains to combine tradition and modernity through the design of the C-pillar. This unique, slightly tapering pillar configuration is a typical coupé feature whose roots go right back to the 1950s: in 1956 the 220 S/SE Coupé (W 180/W 128) first captured attention with this striking C-pillar design, and a few years later the concept was further refined in the successor model, the 220 SE Coupé (W 111/112). Together with the large panoramic rear window, the soft lines of the C-pillar and the boot lid make for an exquisitely modelled coupé-style rear end.

The striking rear of the CLC illustrates that the CLC is both youthful and progressive. Well built and extremely fit, this is a car with an allure that’s hard to resist. The spoiler integrated in the tailgate spans the entire width of the body in a gentle curve and - along with the redesigned, two-part tail lights – it extends with these flowing lines well forwards into the sides of the body, providing a visual link between the rear end and the flanks. Spoiler, tail lights and bumper divide up the CLC rear end, emphasising its width and adding decisively to the car’s outstanding expressiveness. And equally effective is the diffusor-look bumper which immediately reminds one of the Sports Coupé's "big" brothers and their successes in motor racing.

Interior: atmosphere reminiscent of an exclusive club

Design, feel and ergonomics – these are the characteristics that set the interior of the Mercedes Coupés apart. The senses of vision, smell and touch are spoiled by pleasing forms, fine materials, tasteful colour combinations and the unmistakable attention to detail for which Mercedes designers are known. You get in and feel immediately at home. Everything fits like a glove; the controls are easily accessible and the instruments convey a clear message.

Colour and trim - the right choice of colours and materials for the interior of a car - is an increasingly important aspect. More than ever before, customers attach importance to the design and appointments in the interior when making their buying decision. And no wonder – these days, drivers are spending more and more time behind the wheel, and naturally want to spend this time in the most attractive and comfortable surroundings possible. In the new CLC, Mercedes designers have set the tone by offering three different upholstery colours: black, alpaca grey and, in the case of fabric upholstery, a particularly stylish combination of black and red.
There is also a choice of black and alpaca grey for the optional leather interior.
In addition, a further attractive interior colour - cognac brown - is available exclusively in conjunction with the sports package. Mercedes customers have a choice of interior trim as well as colours.

Even the standard specification for the CLC features light brushed aluminium trim elements, while the sporty interior atmosphere provided by the sports package is accentuated with trim in darker aluminium.

By contrast, fine wood sets the tone in the interior of the CLS - hand-finished burr walnut or chestnut wood, which forms a large, meticulously shaped area of decorative trim spanning almost the entire face of the instrument panel. It provides a decidedly elegant atmosphere, which is reinforced by the exquisite matt silk finish.

The atmosphere in the CL-Class is that of an absolutely exclusive club, which caters for your every wish. There is a choice of no less than five tasteful colour combinations. Mercedes customers are also able to satisfy their individual wishes with a choice of exotic wood trim for the centre console, door and rear side panels. Even the burr walnut coming from California is available in two variations - with a dark gloss or matt silk finish. Black ashwood is another option, and hand-picked poplar wood is reserved for the CL 600.

The seat upholstery is also to the highest standards. Three different leather qualities are available, all with a low level of pre-tensioning for a ruffled effect and a soft, comfortable appearance even at first glance. This appealing visual impression is enhanced even further by the feel of the particularly soft PASSION leather upholstery. If PASSION EXCLUSIVE leather upholstery is ordered as an optional extra (standard in the CL 600), the dashboard, centre console and interior door panels are also lined in this fine nappa leather. Choosing this top-of-the-line interior means that the roof liner and the A and C-pillar linings are also enhanced with high-quality Alcantara - haute couture on wheels.

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