Mercedes prices its GLC Coupe, AMG C43 range and new hybrids
THE early 1990s was a simpler time in so many ways. No speed cameras, mobile phones, after work emails or cyber threats to worry about.
We had no idea what political correctness, 360-degree thinking or Justin Bieber were, and life was happier as a result.
It was also a lot less complicated if you wanted to buy a Mercedes-Benz. Sure, you had to be earning a decent crust to have a Merc in your driveway (they're a tad more attainable by the common man these days), but once you reached this lofty life status, your choice of Benz a quarter of a century ago was quite simple.
Can I make do with the C-Class or need the space of an E-Class? Sporty single types could go the SL, company directors needed an S-Class and your only semi-SUV was the mad G-Wagen. Besides choosing your engine size, that was about it.
These days the Mercedes line-up is a daunting proposition. Hatches, coupes, sedans, tourers, wagons, shooting brakes, cabrios, roadsters, SUVs, MPVs and plug-in hybrids, satisfying whatever niches within niches you could imagine.
Sure it's complicated, but you can't say the Germans aren't giving us incredible choice with that little lot. It means new product is never too far away, and the last few weeks have been busy ones for Benz in Australia with prices, specs and new offerings all revealed.
The epitome of current car vogues is best represented with the all-new GLC Coupe - a small SUV with coupe styling but the practicality of five doors.
According to Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG, the GLC Coupe "symbolises the bipolarity of our brand - it is hot and cool," he said, before suggesting it perfectly embodies Benz's styling philosophy with its "design idiom of sensual purity." Bet they never said that about the G-Wagen three decades ago.
Anyway, we now know the GLC Coupe will arrive this November in three guises: GLC 220d Coupe for $77,100, GLC 250 Coupe for $80,100 and GLC 250d Coupe for $82,100, all before on-roads.
All-wheel-drive, a nine-speed auto, AMG Line body styling, 20-inch AMG wheels, Diamond grille, Dynamic Body Control sports suspension, power tailgate, navigation and 360-degree camera will all be standard across the range.
Come October, performance Benz fans will have even more AMG offerings to choose from with the C 43 Sedan, Estate and Coupe landing. We now know these will be priced (before on-roads) at $101,900, $104,400 and $105,615 respectively, with these 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo C 43s offering a far cheaper entry to ballistic AMG-fettled C-Classes than their C 63S big brothers.
For the greener buyers amongst you three new Plug-in Hybrid models have already arrived at dealerships showcasing the latest impressive tech and fuel economy figures.
There's the C 350e Sedan and Estates from $75,300; a GLE 500e SUV for $124,900, and a mighty S 500e for a not insignificant $319,715, all before on-roads.
Combining their conventional engines with an electric motor, each has incredible on-paper performance and economy.
The C 350e returns 2.4-litres/100km; the GLE 500e 3.3-litres/100km and the S 500e 2.8-litres/100km. Respectively, they'll hit 100kmh in 5.9, 5.3 and 5.2 seconds.
A Mercedes-Benz dealership is no bad place to be when car shopping, but prepare yourself for an ever-increasing model list that easily could fill a phone book.