Cars Coming Soon: Mercedes-Benz CSC Takes Design Lesson from Hyundai

Understated luxury, ultimate elegance and pavement-peeling performance.

Those are terms I think of when I think of Mercedes-Benz. Even the outrageous SLS AMG has a certain laid-back coolness without seeming like it’s trying too hard to be awesome.

I’m not sure I can say the same thing about the vehicle you see above. That’s the M-B Concept Style Coupe, or CSC. Despite its name, the car is actually a compact sedan which will take on the likes of the Audi A3. And yes, there’s a good chance the production version will come to the States.

According to reports, the CSC will roll onto the stage at next week’s Beijing Motor Show and will be powered by a 208-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that also sees duty in the new A-Class hatchback. The American version, oddly enough, will debut at a Los Angeles art festival “curated” by Mike D, of the Beastie Boys. I have to respect Mercedes for reaching out to an obvious youth market for this debut!

It’s just really too bad that it looks like the car was designed by Hyundai.

It’s rakish, it’s overly-done, and it feels to me like a cross between the fluidic Genesis Coupe and Sonata sedan, with a little bit of Volvo in the front end. Or like a regular Mercedes-Benz melted during heat testing. I won’t even complain about front-wheel-drive because, in this case, I think it makes more sense than trying to go RWD with it. And, maybe there will be an AWD AMG version. Can you imagine this little sedan with 300-ponies? I might be able to look past the Asian-inspired design for that.

By the time this car hits production and lands in U.S. dealers, there’s a chance the design will be toned down and we’ll just end up with an A-Class sedan.

Which would certainly be fine by me!

Does the design on the Mercedes-Benz CSC concept work for you?


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  1. Yep. with this concept, MB design has gone from timeless to kitschy. Is that what the kids want in their cars? Maybe. But mercedes shouldn’t be the one to provide it. Especially at mercedes prices! These will sit on dealer lots for a long time, I predict.

  2. One if the things I consider to be most “benz” is understated styling. Even an icon like the gull wing 300SL had elegant, understated styling, the same restraint that makes the Aston Martin DB5 such a timeless design. I was recently in the local MB showroom and was equally blown away with the visual elegance of MB products.
    The CSC has none of that, and as you mention, looks like it was styled by Hyundai. This is probably an attempt by MB to appeal more to much younger buyers, but do any of these kids getting started in the job market with $50K in student loans have money for a baby benz? Just the rich ones with people like Mitt Romney for a pappy.

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