Mercedes shows gorgeous Concept Style Coupé...and it's affordable
Mercedes-Benz has released pictures of a gorgeous surprise concept car that's due to debut at the Beijing Motor Show. Called the Concept Style Coupé (CSC), it's a four-door saloon with swoopy coupé styling, and therfore every inch the junior CLS.
However, despite looks that give it instant prestige and high-end appeal, it will reportedly come with a (relatively) junior price tag: from £19,000.
That's conjecture at the moment, but the CSC is smaller than it looks on the images - it's based on the forthcoming Mercedes A-Class.
Therefore, it will sit below the C-Class in Merc's model lineup, and compete with cars like the forthcoming Audi A3 (which is likely to spawn a coupé variant), and the BMW 1 Series Coupé.
In production form it will be very similar to the car you see here - and have a name that sounds less like a home furnishings store: CSC will become CLA.
Swap the CSC's concept-specification wing mirrors, fancy alloys and intricate grille trim for conventional, cost-effective alternatives, and you have the showroom CLA.
Proof of the car's closeness to production is in the interior, whose neon green trim aims to blindside observers into thinking it's futuristic - when in fact it's as regular as can be. There'll be less suede and carbon fibre weave in a £19,000 base car (none, in fact), but the CLA's basic architecture will be exactly like the picture below.
The concept gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with 208bhp - a unit that will come to the production car - and it's four-wheel drive, with power sent to the corners via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Most CLA's, however, will be front-wheel drive - unlike Merc's bigger cars, which from the C-Class upwards are rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive will be an option on mid- and high-level versions.
It's highly likely AMG will get its claws on the CLA at some stage, making a BMW 1 Series M Coupé rival with around 350bhp from a 2.0-litre turbo engine. Exciting.
Most people will buy a diesel, though. They'll get to choose from 1.8- and 2.2-litre units, with power ranging between 108bhp and 168bhp.
And if you're wondering why we haven't yet reported any gushing yet ultimately meaningless words from a Mercedes insider, wait no more. Here's a quote right from the top: "The Concept Style Coupé is expressive and powerful in its design," said Mercedes chairman De Zetsche. So there.
The CLA should be with us before the end of 2013.