By on February 14, 2020

Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse Cabriolet; A 217; 2018 - Image: Mercedes-Benz

As cost-cutting born partly of stricter environmental mandates take hold across the industry, low-volume specialty cars and less-popular body styles are getting a rethink. Model lines are being consolidated or dropped, leaving the consumer with less choice than before.

At Mercedes-Benz, which currently fields a dizzying array of vehicles spanning the gamut (minus the pickup segment), the future holds less selection for the consumer who likes to go his or her own way. Bound for the chopping block are the stately S-Class coupe and convertible, and two four-doors also look to be on the way out.

We’ve arrived at a Sophie’s Choice moment.

For those of you not enamoured with such things as the new GLB-class crossover, it’s grim news. Earlier this week, a German newspaper stated that the next models to disappear from the M-B lineup are the CLS coupe (sedan) and the burly AMG GT 4-door, replaced by a single electric model. The sound you just heard was a balloon rapidly losing its air.

Daimler

The CLS, as previously explained by yours truly, started out cheesy (in my opinion), took a confusing turn in its second generation, then came into its own in its current guise. It emerged into a happy middle ground between elegance and sport, with refinement to spare and a desirable inline-six engine fresh off the M-B drawing board.

The AMG GT, another four-door that carries a coupe designation, is the sibling who never leaves the gym and feasts on tuna and cottage cheese during his work break. Muscular and athletic, M-B’s in-house hot rod sedan boasts stratospheric power figures and room for a growing family.

As for the S-Class coupe, it’s an opulent pillarless hardtop. That’s all this writer needs to hear in order to get the inner fires burning. The convertible? However low its volume, the drop-top S-Class seems an excellent getaway vehicle for a weekend in Cannes. Mercedes-Benz has always been known as a manufacturer that caters to its buyers’ needs, regardless of their affluence … or infamy.

There’s four vehicles on the potential chopping block, each with a list of attributes and a niche to fill. If you called the shots in Stuttgart, which one would live on?

[Images: Daimler AG]

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14 Comments on “QOTD: Which Niche Survives at Mercedes-Benz?...”


  • avatar
    jack4x

    My preference would be to keep the actual coupes and ditch the fake coupes, especially since there are already plenty of 4 door models available (What does the GT-4 door do that an S63 doesn’t besides cost more?)

    In reality, all of these are probably headed for the chopping block to make room for another CUV.

  • avatar
    redapple

    All 4 of the cars pictured are great! I want.
    BUT. The price, depreciation, shop visits and so forth scare me away.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I happen to think the AMG GT 4-Door looks like a roach with wheels under it, so I shed no tears for that one.

    I’m so-so about the CLS-Class. I’d never buy one, but it’s really good-looking, especially in its latest form.

    I will miss the stately S-Class Coupe and Convertible, which are among my favorite vehicles.

    It seems that halo cars all over are disappearing. Over at BMW, the 8 Series Coupe and Convertible are soon to be gone, while the 8 Series Gran Coupe will stay for now.

    My absolute favorite modern car, the Bentley Mulsanne, is being discontinued without a successor. Where the Continental GT, Bentayga and Flying Spur are pretty much Volkswagen products with British styling and construction…the Mulsanne was built in the same manner as traditional pre-VW Bentleys, and done entirely by hand. This marks the end of that. It also marks the end of the L-Series V8, which has been installed in Bentleys for several decades, and in Rolls-Royces until BMW got involved. I guess part of that is that the new 2020 Flying Spur can basically take the Mulsanne’s place, at this point.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The important thing is that the SL lives on.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    When I think niche Mercedes I think the EQ or CLA, the cars listed here are the bread and butter of a luxury manufacturer imo.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    The S Class Coupe is certainly an attractive automobile, but I cannot personally justify its extra expense compared to my Audi A5. I am not saying it is not a better automobile, just that the difference is not worthwhile to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The S-Class Coupe isn’t even a competitor to your A5. That would be the C-Class Coupe. They’re really not comparable.

      • 0 avatar
        SilverCoupe

        No argument, I said the S Class is a better car. I just feel it is a case of diminishing returns – I don’t appreciate the difference between a fifty dollar bottle of wine and a twenty-five dollar bottle either.
        I buy my cars primarily by appearance, and the S Class is not all that much better looking than the Audi (feel free to differ), though the S coupe does have a sort of aura about it.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I’m not surprised to see the volumes sold of these vehicles falling. I had a 560 SEC, 1987 and it was a fabulous car. I loved the look of it with the windows down and no B pillar. But as I reconsider the things that I loved about it, I get refocused. In 1987, most alternatives, and certainly mainstream brands were light years behind that SEC in design, luxury interior, build quality and features like ABS and air bags. Today most mainstream manufacturers have really upped their game on interior design and build quality. The race for tech and giant dashboard iPad screens is now neck in neck. Also cars are so 20th century now with SUVs. In 1980s when you arrived at a destination like a meeting or a restaurant and got out of an SEC, people took note. Now not so much. IDK if that flash is what people crave, or if those who do are on to Bentley/Maserati/etc., but I can see why this isn’t a winning formula for Mercedes, so time to cull the herd.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Well thank God. As long as Mercedes still sells traditional SUVs based off of the A, C, E and S Classes, and “four door coupe” SUVs wedged in between the A- and C-Classes, C- and E-Classes and E- and S-Classes, and whatever the EQC is, plus the G-Wagen and of course a Maybach SUV, we should be okay.

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