Speed and High Style

The Mercedes C-Class coupe is a sporty complement to the company's more sedate C-Class sedan.

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A serious sunroof essentially turns the Mercedes C230 coupe into a convertible.

First came the elegance, and now comes the verve.

The Mercedes C-Class coupe is a sporty complement

to the company’s more sedate C-Class sedan. The

sport coupe is about 7 inches shorter than the sedan,

and its high snubbed rear and long sloping hood all but

shout “catch me if you can.”

The coupe proved right at home on the curves of the

narrow “Corniches” that hug the cliffs of France’s

Cte

d’Azur between Nice and Monaco, where we tested it. It

accelerated energetically with sharp bursts of

adrenaline when the road briefly straightened, while

crisp handling and an electronic stability system kept

us from plunking ourselves into the azure

Mediterranean below us. With a six-speed manual

transmission, the supercharged 2.3-liter

190-horsepower coupe sprints from 0 to 60 mph in

less than 8 seconds.

One of the car’s coolest features is an optional sunroof

that stretches as a continuous glass shell from the

front windshield to the rear spoiler. When open-air

driving invites, the push of a button slides the sunroof

backward, while a glass louver that acts as a

windshield pops up in front. Because the sunroof

slides along the car exterior, it does not diminish

headroom.

Mercedes says that the C230 coupe, slated for U.S.

release in July, will be priced below $28,000. It

promises to be a formidable competitor in the

near-luxury category.