We got our first official look at the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class on Tuesday and its many, many screens. Mercedes has only revealed the sedan and wagon versions thus far, and typically we’d expect the coupe and cabriolet to follow. This time around, though, that may not happen.
We’ve known for some time that Mercedes will pare down its coupe and convertible offerings, particularly in the U.S. However, comments that Mercedes CEO Markus Schäfer made to Autocar following the new C-Class’ reveal casts doubt that we’ll see sportier two-door variants of its bread-and-butter nameplate.
The reason? Well, aside from the global shift toward crossovers and SUVs, Mercedes already makes a hell of a lot of models, and it hopes to introduce new electric ones. There’s just not enough room for low-volume coupes and convertibles these days.
“We reached a portfolio of close to 50 vehicles last year, and there’s more to come on the electric side with our EQ line-up,” said Schafer. “We have some limitations in terms of what we can do in research and development.
“Some of [our models] got quite narrow [in terms of market] so we want to really focus on a portfolio that’s more precise and consumer-oriented. So we’re doing some significant shifts in our line-up, portfolio and shape of vehicles.
In a way, this shift has already started. Last year, we lost similar versions of the S-Class, and the writing was on the wall for the SLC roadster even earlier than that. On the other hand, the E-Class coupe and cabriolet are still among the living, and next-generation SL mules have been spotted ahead of that car’s reveal probably later this year.
All this is to say Mercedes hasn’t dropped big two-doors from its range entirely, but you’re going to see less of them going forward — at least in the traditional sense. Schäfer teased future coupes and convertibles, albeit in a “different form.”
We have a very high density on the coupe and cabriolet side with the C-Class, E-Class and SLC. It’s a wide offering and the market is going in a different direction. That’s why we’re shifting: we’re going to continue with coupes and cabriolets in the future, but in a different form and shape.
I read “different form and shape” as electric and/or crossover-y. That doesn’t bother me much, but then I tend to forget what few big, opulent Mercedes coupes still exist. Anyway, we really don’t need more SUVs with rakish rooflines. The Silver Arrows have already got plenty of those, though I fear we’ll probably get more. Say, Mercedes — if you must go down this road, I ask only that you toss us a spiritual successor to the Murano CrossCabriolet just for fun.