The curtain has gone up a little early for Mercedes-Benz’s latest concept car. AutoBlog.rs leaked several images of the Mercedes Concept Style Coupe before the car’s official debut at the Transmission LA culture festival. The Concept Style Coupe previews a small “four-door coupe” that will go on sale next year.
The goal of cars like the Concept Style Coupe is to blend the four-door practicality of a sedan with the arousing styling of a coupe. Mercedes invented this sub-genre in 2004, when the first-generation CLS debuted. Since then, cars like the Volkswagen CC and Hyundai Sonata have adopted the four-door coupe look. BMW even made one by literally adding two doors to its 640i to create the 640i Gran Coupe.
Four-door coupes are all the rage, so Mercedes decided to capitalize on their popularity by introducing a smaller model. The Concept Style Coupe provides a good indication of what that car will look like when it debuts next year as the CLC. So far, things look good. The concept car was plenty of Mercedes styling cues, but its curvier lines are a nice change of pace from the angular look of many recent Benzes. The designers did a good job of making the creases and character lines that dominate cars like the E-Class more fluid, and more appealing. The front end looks very aggressive, with defined lines radiating from a massive grille. The thousand points of light grille may not make it to production.
Hopefully, the interior won’t either; the combination of black, gray, and neon green trim makes it look like a running shoe. It’s also a little odd to see a modern car with nothing but vents and buttons on its center console. Instead of installing the usual monitor, Mercedes attached a tablet to the top of the dashboard. That is a novel idea, but it might seem too chintzy for luxury buyers.
The production CLC will be much smaller than the CLS, or any other four-door coupe currently on the market. It will share its chassis with Mercedes’ A-Class and B-Class, the smallest cars the company makes. We’ll have to wait for the Concept Style Coupe’s Los Angeles debut for more detailed information, but the CLC is expected to be front-wheel drive, with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That engine should make 211 horsepower, and come with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Other possibilities include an all-wheel drive option and an AMG high performance version.
If the Concept Style Coupe makes the transition to production with its styling intact, we’ll have a new piece of automotive eye candy next year.
Updated: The production version of the Concept Style Coupe will be called CLA, not CLC. It will have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 208 hp, the seven-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.