by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

PREVIEW: New rendering from Autobild shows future CLC-Class in full splendour

Ten years ago, the term "4-door coupe" sounded like a blasphemy in the automotive industry, adressed both to classic limousines and elegant 2-door models. Mercedes-Benz is the pioneering constructor to have broken the barriers of convention and released world's first vehicle that combined the puristic lines of a coupe onto a practical, 4-door sedan body. Initially previewed as the Vision CLS concept car in 2003 to rate the public reaction to a new class of automobiles, the famous CLS was unleashed on year later as a series model. Already in its second generation, the large 4-door coupe continues to appeal to more and more clients. Very soon, the CLS will be joined by a smaller sibling: the CLC, developed on the MFA platform and proud to be part of the new compact lineup alongside the A-Class and B-Class.

Reports indicate the new CLC-Class is set to come late this year, right in time for January's 2013 Detroit Motor Show. Baring the internal designation C 117, the new model from Mercedes-Benz is a fashionable and agile 4-door coupe displaying a powerful and progressive design. When looked at, the cues of the future CLC will remind everybody this car has an eminent 'ancestor': the CLS with its rakish roof line and mindblowing aura. Actually, the Autobild computer rendition shown above is very close to the real car in terms of exterior styling. 

As the upcoming CLS Shooting Brake is already announced as a major sales success for the German brand, the CLC will likely get its own 4-door wagon coupe (X 117 ??) as well. The car is said to arrive sometime towards 2014. If this is not enough, there will also be a CLC 25 AMG version with around 350 hp and 4x4 traction.

The dashboard for the new Mercedes-Benz compact 4-door coupe takes inspiration from the A-Class and B-Class models, so expect a youthful and appealing design with true premium assembly quality. We shall get a preview for the CLC in just a week, when the TRANSMISSION LA:AV CLUB festival commences and the Concept Style Coupé showcar is revealed during a special ceremony at the event.

NOTE: To our knowledge, up the moment, the official name of the C 117 project is CLC-Class not CLA or BLS.

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