When Marcus Breitschwerdt took over as Mercedes-Benz Canada president and CEO six years ago, his background was on the product planning side of the company and he instituted a system of looking at specific Canadian likes and needs as opposed to just accepting whatever the Americans wanted.
Relentlessly using focus groups and customer feedback, the Canadian arm pressed for cars and trucks fitted out differently and the result has been sales increase after increase.
Fine-tuning the product for Canadian tastes means subtle differences even inside a single model range, and such is the case of the 2010 E-Class Coupe as opposed to the 2010 E-Class Sedan tested on these pages previously.
Canadians can opt for 18-inch AMG wheels while the V8 gets the standard AMG body styling that is also optional on the V6. The huge Panorama sunroof is also standard, as are 10-way power front seats with memory.
The sedan already possesses striking looks but the coupe improves on them with a roofline that swoops back and down before tucking into the rear much like the CLS Sedan. But what makes it work so well is an intriguing fender bulge that adds a sense of muscularity to the rear haunches before it too blends into the roofline at the rear.
There’s more to this than just style. The coupe has a co-efficient of drag of 0.24, making it one of the most aerodynamically refined four-seaters on the road today.
More than that, you know this is a Mercedes-Benz from 100 metres away just by the way it looks, which is exactly the statement Daimler wants its products to make.
There are two 2010 E-Coupes based on engine size. The first is the E350 with a 3.5-litre DOHC V6 producing 268 hp and 258 lb/ft of torque, while the E550 uses a 5.5-litre DOHC V8 making 382 hp and 381 lb/ft of torque. Fuel consumption figures had not been established at the time of this writing.
Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is 6.4 seconds for the 3.5-litre and 5.6 seconds for the 5.5-litre. Top speed is electronically limited to 210 km/h.
I drove both the gasoline versions, plus a not-for-sale-in-Canada (yet) E 350 diesel and enjoyed every single minute in this elegant looking package with the power and agility to match. Like the sedans, the coupe abounds with technological advances.
One I love from the sedan, and a standard feature, is the new Attention Assist drowsiness monitor that keeps an electronic eye on the driver and warns him/her by a series of visual and optical warnings when it’s time to take a break.