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If you were a fan of Mercedes’ CLK series and knew about its demise, I am sure you would be disappointed? The model name is now history, however, one look at the range that replaces it and you will be all smiles. The Stuttgart giant was getting notorious for using a host of alphabetic acronyms to refer to its various models, specifically model names like C, CL, CLK and CLS were starting to get little confusing. Right then, there is always a way to rectify a problem – the CLK tag was chopped off and the car replacing this two-door model will now be called the all-new E-class coupe. Hold on, does this mean the car I went gaga over the weekend was nothing but a shortened, sans two doors variant of the new E-class? Not really. Agreed that the CLK was more C than E, but the coupe here is the opposite. Visually, in and out, it seems more like the E sedan, however, it won’t be wrong to say that it shares the platform (and some more components) with the C class and is almost similar in dimensions.

Visually, like its sedan counterpart, this coupe is an aesthetic joy. Mercedes clearly wants it to be seen as an E. Hence, it is no surprise that the car adopts the sedan’s design cues including quad headlamps and the Ponton-inspired and dare I say, somewhat Korean looking rear quarters. What really gives the coupe a ravishing appeal is its CLS-like almost all glass arching roofline, very essential for that racy character. And oh, that also makes it the slipperiest car in the world with a drag co-efficient of just 0.24. Pillar-less designs have always fascinated me and in this case, it raises the coupe’s good looks up over the four-door’s. Further, look closely at the alloy wheels and you notice the small AMG logo as well – a small yet significant detail to make you smile. The E couple clearly manages to shrug off all the soft, feminine and somewhat conservative look of the old CLK for its crisp detailing and of course a big, bold three-pointed star on the grille. Isn’t this a really beautiful car?

On the inside as well, it’s purely E with an almost identically designed fascia, pods, steering wheel, et al. This isn’t a bad thing as there is no arguing with the high-quality finishes and appeal of the cabin. Top notch quality, superbly crafted pods, switches and buttons – just what you desire and wish from a coupe of this stratum. There are a few differences like the low seats, essential for a sporty driving posture, automatic seatbelt feeders that protrude out on start up, a subtle V shape in the central console of the fascia to reduce the design’s imposing squareness and a more than welcome gear shifter located centrally like the way it should be. However, the car shocks you no end when you have to manually push back or pull ahead the front two seats. How will you justify this on a half a crore coupe Mr Salesman? Secondly, although I am aware this is a two-door car, access to the rear seat is pretty difficult and once there, how you wish you had tiny little South East Asians in the front two seats. Headroom, actually the lack of it at the rear, is a big issue – blame it on the slopping roof. Apart from these little shortcomings (I anyways wouldn’t really want extra passengers in the rear seats hampering the performance), the insides are very impressive. It is a place I would love to spend hours at a go, especially each time I look at those gorgeous drilled pedals.

 

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