by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

The C-Class Coupé: Pure fun at the wheel with the perfect coupé proportions - VIII


Stuttgart, Germany, May 17, 2011

Drive system and chassis: Powerful propulsion and dynamic handling

To power the C-Class Coupé there is a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines from the latest generation. All are equipped with direct injection and the ECO start/stop function as standard. All the engine variants are classed as BlueEFFICIENCY units, showing that they are particularly efficient and environmentally friendly in their use of fuel. For models with the four-cylinder petrol engines, a modified exhaust system is deployed which provides a more sporty sound to support the overall configuration of the C-Class Coupé, oriented as it is towards fun at the wheel.

Representing a generational shift in technology, the new V6 petrol engine in the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY delivers 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 Nm and gets the coupé from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds. Fuel consumption sets new benchmarks in this performance category, averaging 6.8 litres per 100 km (CO2: 159 g/km). The most economical coupé model is the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with manual six-speed transmission. It has an average diesel consumption of 4.4 litres per 100 km (CO2: 117 g/km), which also makes it the most economical model in its segment.

An overview of the engines:

All engines are available with the new, enhanced 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission (standard on the C 250 and C 350). Due to optimised shifting times, a dynamic response and more, the transmission complements the overall configuration of the C-Class Coupé to perfection, oriented as it is towards agility and fun at the wheel. The latest evolution of the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with the additional PLUS designation has also been enhanced in terms of fuel consumption and comfort. The new generation of torque converter delivers improved longevity and reduces the level of noise and vibration thanks to a new hydraulic circuit, improved dampers and torque converter lock-up clutch.

The wheel-slip reduction of the torque converter lock-up clutch, combined with larger mechanical damper de-coupling, helps to reduce consumption significantly. In addition, the gearshift program in ECO mode has been changed in favour of lower engine rpm at cruising speeds. With friction-optimised bearings and seals plus a new automatic transmission oil (FE-ATF) with reduced viscosity in conjunction with an optimised additive package, the transmission itself helps to cut consumption. The higher longevity of the new transmission oil results in new oil-change intervals (every 125,000 kilometres).

The AGILITY CONTROL suspension, which is standard equipment, complements the dynamic engines to perfection. This is based on an amplitude-dependent damping system: when driving normally with low shock absorber impulses, the damping forces are automatically reduced for a noticeable improvement in road roar and tyre vibration characteristics – but without any compromise in handling safety. When shock absorber impulses are greater, for example when cornering at speed or performing evasive manoeuvres, the maximum damping forces are set and the car is effectively stabilised.

The front axle has a three-link construction with McPherson spring struts. The lower control arm consists of two separate elements which serve as torque and cross struts and are both made of aluminium. The third link in the front suspension is the tie rod which connects the transverse steering gear to the wheels. The reinforced anti-roll bar is connected to the spring strut which is likewise actively involved in directing the front wheels.

With multi-link independent rear suspension, the wheel is attached to five flexibly mounted control arms which restrict five of the available spatial movements: owing to this intelligent control arm construction, each rear wheel basically retains freedom of movement in one plane only, namely during controlled compression and rebound.

In addition to the AGILITY CONTROL suspension as standard, there is an optional extra in the form of a 15 mm lower sports suspension with harder, shorter springs, tauter shock absorbers and stronger torsion bars, as well as a Dynamic Handling package. The latter includes a Sport mode and lowering, plus speed-sensitive sports steering with a direct ratio.

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