It arrived today! The brand new Mercedes C Class Sports Coupe to replace the
ageing '94 SL280.
And I am very impressed! Technology has come a long long way in 9 years, the
on-board computer seems to have endless functionality, and thats even before
one starts playing with COMAND, which is nothing short of phenominal!
I ordered the 180K version - the entry level engine, because I thought it
would be powerful enough, especially considering MB wants £1500 for each
upgrade offering just 20 or 30bhp.
And I wasn't wrong. It actually feels more powerful than the 2.8 litre
engine in the SL. I know the SL was heavier, but the thing about this engine
is that it just seems so torquey, and in the manual it says 220NM from
2,500-4500rpm, so that is geniune V6 torque right across the rev range.
Obviously I am still running it in, so max. acceleration has not been
tested, but it really does feel very powerful.
Not only that but the refinement is very good. It may only be a 4 cylinder
engine - and I know some people have complained about M-B 4 pots, but in my
opinion it is more refined than the SL280 ! (I know the 4 potters have been
recently updated though). There is a slight supercharger whine under
acceleration, but it dissapears when cruising and I don't think its a
problem. I think the case for 6 cylinder engines is looking very thin - and
if you disagree just try the new twinspark engines!
I can't get over how good it is on the motorway though. It sits at 70mph and
feels like 30, the engine spins at a very sedate 2,500 rpm, and it is much
more comfortable than the old SL.
The auto'box is very good too. It feels as sharp as a manual box, by
comparison, the box of the old SL seems a bit slushy now!
Although some reviewers have complained that it isn't sporty enough to
justify its name, I find the handling very good, again I am amazed at the
Parktronic is absolutely amazing too. It seems expensive as a £550 option,
but now I see that it really is much better than competing products, with
distance displays in both the front and rear of the car - truely amazing.
I was beginning to wonder whether Mercs were really worth the money, and I
am reminded again, that yes indeed they are!