Mercedes-Benz Concept Vehicles –
the Shape of the Future
Giving the brand a new face: Coupe concept
At the 1993 Geneva Motor Show Mercedes-Benz presented a coupe concept which marked the opening shot in the new product drive. The dynamic design language of this concept gave a foretaste of many themes which would be taken up by later Mercedes models.
Elegant shape: The coupe concept of 1993, presented at the Geneva Motor Show
    The coupe concept introduced the world to the "four-headlamp" design which would later become the new face of the brand. The response was overwhelmingly positive – and that meant a thumbs-up for production. The first model in which the new front-end design hit the road was also one of the brand's most important models. It was the all-new four-headlamp E-Class, which appeared in 1995.
    The concept car presented in Geneva was also intended to test the waters on another question: How would customers react to a new four-seater Mercedes-Benz coupe? This question too received a clear answer – considerable numbers of them would jump at the chance to buy a car like the one presented in Geneva. As a consequence, 1997 the CLK coupe was launched.
    Please click on the pictures to enlarge them.
    Coupe concept
    March 1993
    Geneva Motor Show
    Four-seater coupe with new Mercedes-Benz face and fastback tail
    Four-stroke eight-cylinder gasoline engine, 5.0 liter displacement, 235 kW (320 hp), rear-wheel drive, automatic transmission
    Technical highlights
    • Four-eye face: Introduced 1995 in the E-Class (W 210)
    • Fastback tail: Introduced 2000 in the C-Class sports coupe (CL 203)
    • Gray-tinted all-glass roof: Introduced 2002 in the E-Class (W 211)
    • Step-in light
    • Front seats with asymmetrical head restraint mounting ("Ergo Wing seats“)
    Interestingly, although the coupe concept shown in Geneva did have a tail section, albeit short-cropped, it did not have a conventional trunk lid. In its place was a large tailgate which incorporated the rear screen and extended down as far as the edge of the bumper, making this the first ever Mercedes-Benz fastback. In fact the concept car already hinted to a small extent at a future model – which only made its debut in the fall of 2000 – in which the tailgate became a defining styling feature. That was the C-Class sports coupe.
    The elegance of the exterior continued uninterrupted into an interior with four single, individual seats. Here the emphasis was on fluency of form and an absence of frills. The center console, running all the way through from the dashboard to the parcel shelf, was a key design element. Smooth leather, luxurious microfiber fleece and wood paneling created a driving environment which was refined and elegant. At the same time the ergonomics were designed to the high standards for which Mercedes-Benz is renowned. This could be seen for example in the front seats with their asymmetrical head restraint mounting. These "Ergo Wing" seats offered even at shoulder level excellent lateral and spinal support.
    Please click on the pictures to enlarge them.
    The coupe concept was not just a show car but fully drivable. The hood sheltered an eight-cylinder five-liter engine developing maximum power of 235 kW (320 hp) and maximum torque of 470 Newton meters at 3900 rpm. This too was a taste of things to come, presaging the future CLK 500. With its 485 liter trunk meanwhile, the coupe also showed careful attention to practical requirements.
    A car is a many-sided product. By contributing to so many subsequent production models, the Mercedes-Benz coupe concept proved that this can be just as true of a concept model.
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