Beijing concept points way to new CL Mercedes
The car previews a smaller production sister to the current CLS saloon, the new model expected to launch next year.
The car’s official debut in Beijing underlies how the global auto industry is attaching increasing importance to the Chinese show. However the CSC will first appear briefly at the at the Avant/Garde Diaries event in Los Angeles this week – Mercedes is believed to see the car as a major player on the US market.
The CSC is clearly designed to reflect the sporty image of the CLS, while drawing heavily on the latest Mercedes design language seen at last month’s Geneva show on the Concept A-Class. Particularly noticeable is the aggressive bonnet treatment, lunging forward into the front grille.
Mercedes-Benz Head Dr Dieter Zetsche describes the Concept Style Coupé as expressive and powerful in its design. “We are staking our claim very clearly here – this is the model against which sporty vehicles in the executive segment will have to measure themselves in future,” he adds.
The production car, which according to Autocar will be called the CLA, is expected to sit below the C-class in the Mercedes model range, though the concept suggests it will be a longer, lower, more sporty car. The CSC sits on 21-inch wheels though these will be unlikely to be a production standard-fit.
Mercedes won’t say how closely the concept resembles the planned production model, though Head of Design Gorden Wagener describes the Beijing show car as “almost production-standard.”
He adds that the car ”sets a new benchmark for avantgarde design in the executive segment. Its breathtaking proportions, sinewy fluid surfaces and sculptural lines are the physical expression of our dynamic design idiom.”
The concept is powered by the same 208bhp direct injection turbocharged 2-litre petrol engine that will shortly be launched in the Mercedes A250. The CSC also boasts a dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive.
Other concept niceties probably less likely to make it into production are the headlamps that glow red when in standby mode and novel indicators in which individual points of light are illuminated in succession, according to Mercedes “rather like a piano keyboard.”
Words by: Andrew Charman