yuppies will love it

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

Remember the days when German car manufacturers had "no idea" that young people also wanted to drive their cars, just like their fathers and uncles?

But in recent years things have changed and German motor manufacturers now design small, appealing cars. Our roads are filled with the likes of the BMW1-Series and Audi A3.

The Germans do care about the younger market.

Mercedes-Benz emphasised this commitment when it launched the new CLC coupé, which used to be the C-Class Sports Coupé.

The new generation has a striking resemblance to the previous model, though it has adopted the face of the Merc coupé family. The compact body dimensions and muscular lines emphasise the sporty appearance of the new CLC.

Launched in George last week the new CLC did what any Mercedes-Benz would do - handled those twisty Western Cape roads like a natural.

There won't be an AMG version of the CLC, say the folk at Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

"Why?" asks one of the journalists.

Because the AMG market is small and there is no demand from customers of this car for an AMG. But the sports package is available for those who love their bling-bling.

The sports package includes 17-inch light-alloy wheels, wide-base tyres, headlamps with black inner surrounds, sports suspension with lowered body, leather sports steering wheel and dark brushed aluminium trim elements.

Another special feature that the CLC inherits from its racing-car counterparts is the instrument cluster with red needles for the speedo and rev counter.

Though the CLC is the baby of the coupé range, it is not deprived of the latest technological features that are found in bigger Mercs.

It is equipped with the new direct-steer system for even more agile cornering, infotainment systems featuring a colour display, DVD and hard-disc navigation and media interface.

The interior of the new CLC is sleek and comfortable. Standard are sports seats with better lateral support, a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, automatic climate control and brushed aluminium trim elements.

The sport package forms part of the standard equipment for the CLC 350 and is offered as optional for the CLC 200K.

The CLC 200K with power output of 135kW costs R335000, while the CLC 350, producing 200kW, sells for R405000.