AMMAN — Taking over from the CLK-Class after two generations, the E-Class Coupe is back and is a sharply penned effort that recaptures the elegant and pillar-less window design of past two-door versions of Mercedes’ executive segment saloon.
Like the CLK, the new E-Class saloon is also based on C-Class saloon architecture with E-Class design, luxury and 60 per cent mechanicals, as is also done by some rivals. In E-Class Coupe’s case, the contemporary C-Class saloon basics provide a more compact frame and the sharp sporty handling required for a coupe, while E-Class design, interiors and appointments mark it out as a luxurious personal luxury GT.
Elegant and slippery
Indulgently styled with lots of sharp edges, defined character lines and bulging sheet metal, the E-Class Coupe’s design accentuates its E-Class sibling’s elegance with a lower and more beautifully arced and flowing roofline and rim-less, pillar-less windows. The absence of a B-pillar greatly enhances its design fluidity, and also provides excellent side visibility for overtaking.
Subtly different from the E-Class saloon, the Coupe also features sharper and more elongated edges to the model line’s unique double diamond headlights, and as is to be expected, uses Mercedes’ more assertive three-slat grille with large embedded tri-star, which is almost exclusively reserved for the Stuttgart manufacturer’s two-door cars.
A design that has flourishes of boldness in an otherwise conservatively styled package, the E-Class Coupe is flowing and muscular, with subtly buffed haunches, but is also surprisingly slippery with an aerodynamic drag co-efficiency rating of just 0.24.
With an AMG styling package, as tested, the E-Class Coupe comes with a more aggressive bumper with pronounced air splitters and a wider intake vents up front, as well as more pronounced side skirts, which use two angled lines of definition to create a sense of forward motion even when stationary. However, the E-Class Coupe remains a softer edged, more elegant and flowing coupe than its smaller and sportier C-Class Coupe stablemate.
Driven by a more aggressively boosted version of Mercedes’ now familiar M271 series direct injection turbocharged in-line four-cylinder engine, the E250 Coupe develops a maximum 204PS at 5,500rpm and 229lb/ft at 2,000-4,300rpm. With a quick to spool turbo engine that enjoys a wide and muscular mid-range, the E250 Coupe has superb flexibility and responsiveness and completes the 0-100km/h dash in 7.4-seconds and has a 247km/h top speed.
With the C250 greater turbo boost yielding an extra 20ps over ‘200’ badged lower boost versions of the same engine, the extra grunt is most noticeable at low revs, where the C250 feels more versatile and responsive at just above tick-over, and requires less aggressive down-shifts or throttle inputs.
A smooth and refined engine with a distant but evocative gurgle, the E250’s turbo engine is progressive in power build-up, but is backed up by a healthy and seemingly ever-present dose of mid-range torque, for swift overtaking. In terms of acoustics, the smoothly tuned C250 is geared for a more relaxed driving experience, but would be more visceral were it to feature the SLK200’s more aggressive exhaust and turbo dump valve acoustics. Featuring Mercedes’ brilliant new 7-speed automatic gearbox, the C250’s shifts are smooth, quick and intuitive, while manual mode is sequential and sportier than its 5-speed predecessor. The higher boost ‘250’ engine gives little away in fuel economy, and as fitted to the C250 Coupe, returns 6.4-litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
Stable and sporty
Dynamically refined and well rounded, the E250 Coupe enjoys typically great high speed stability and is comfortable for long journeys, but is certainly on the firmer and sportier end of the scale than its larger saloon sister. Comfortable in different situations, the E250 ride has a reassuringly planted feel and benefits from arrow-like directional stability at speed. In terms of practicality, the E250 Coupe’s tight turning circle and good side visibility are great in town for manoeuvring through tight streets and parking spaces. Ride quality is firm, but potholes, cracks and bumps are far from being jarring, and don’t intrude on its refined cabin and ride experience.
In terms of handling, the E250 Coupe benefits from a high level of lateral grip when one pushes it hard and leans on its outside wheels, but in normal driving conditions, its sportily firm suspension set-up can mean that the rear wheels can lose grip if one comes on-boost sharply — however, its electronic stability controls are set up to be ever-vigilant. More agile and with better and tauter body control through corners than its saloon sibling, the E250 Coupe is a focused and fun drive through fast B-roads, with a sharp and grippy turn-in and a balanced chassis. The E250 Coupe’s light 4-cylinder engine makes it sharp and eager through corners, and is very engaging when driven with precision, with a good combination of refinement and feedback. Drilled ventilated brakes are very effective.
Hunkered down but airy
Fitted with AMG’s sporty exterior and interior packages the E250 Coupe tested featured wonderfully sculpted, supportive and comfortable sports seats and a contoured three-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel, with the just the right thickness. With a noticeably lower and sportier seating position than the E-Class Saloon, the E250 Coupe’s driving position was spacious, versatile and involving, with good visibility and excellent seat and steering adjustability.
Rear seat space was decent but access to the rear bucket seats was tricky for heavy-set and tall passengers, owing to the E250 Coupe’s elegantly arced and low roofline. Surprisingly, the smaller C250 Coupe’s rear seat access was better.
The Mercedes E250 Coupe’s interior fit and finish is sporty yet elegant with clear and intuitive instrumentation, including its instrument cluster, while the infotainment system’s screen was well located and driver oriented, and its’ menus intuitive. Luxury items were aplenty and included many electric powered functions, and bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Interior ambiance was hunkered down, elegant and airy owing to its pillar-less windows and panoramic roof, while materials had supple textures. In terms of safety, the E250 Coupe comes with a host of standard features including ABS brakes, electronic stability controls and numerous airbags, among other features.
Engine: 1.8-litre, turbocharged in-line 4-cylinders
Bore x stroke: 82 x 85mm
Compression ratio: 9.3:1
Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, variable timing, direct injection
Gearbox: 7-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
Gear ratios: 1st 4.38:1; 2nd 2.86:1; 3rd 1.92:1; 4th 1.37:1; 5th 1:1; 6th 0.82:1; 7th 0.73:1
0-100 km/h: 7.4-seconds
Maximum speed: 247km/h
Power, PS (BHP) [kW]: 204 (202)  @ 5,500rpm
Specific power: 112.5bhp/litre
Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 228.6 (310) @ 2,000-4,300rpm
Specific torque: 172.6Nm/litre
Combined fuel consumption: 6.4-6.9 l/100km
CO2 emissions, combined: 161g/km
Tread width, F/R: 1,538/1,544mm
Overhang, F/R: 855/1,083mm
Headroom, F/R: 1,021/910mm
Boot capacity: 540 litres
Kerb weight: 1,600kg
Aerodynamic drag co-efficient: 0.24 (without AMG package)
Steering: Power assisted, rack and pinion
Turning circle: 10.95 metres
Suspension: Multi-link, coil springs, gas-charged dampers
Brakes, F/R: Ventilated & drilled discs/discs
Tyres, F/R: 235/40R18/255/35R18 (as tested)
Price, on-the-road: JD66,000 (as tested with AMG Package)