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The white stuff; Edward Stephens thinks the new Mercedes-Benz E250 Coupe has a particular aesthetic appeal in simple white.

Byline: Edward Stephens

f, as the saying goes, clothes make the man, then colour certainly makes the car.

IThe new trendy colour is white, which is seeing a massive revival having lapsed into obscurity a few years ago.

It clearly doesn't suit every car but if there is one car it really does make stand out from the crowd it's the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sport Coupe - a car so sleek it's the world's most aerodynamically efficient production car.

Admittedly as it's a diamond white metallic paint job it will cost you an additional pounds 1,125 but the effect is dramatic, particularly on the Sport model which gets full AMG body styling as standard, including the AMG front apron with large air intakes, AMG side skirts and the AMG rear apron with a black insert.

You also get high-sheen 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a six twin-spoke design with wide-base tyres.

The Sport Coupe is a good-looking car anyway - but in white it's a show stopper, especially as the car I tested had a panoramic glass sunroof, which meant from the outside the whole of the roof looked like black glass - contrasting nicely with the body colour.

Although it shares family traits with the saloon, the coup has its own, distinct identity.

The arrow shape of the entire front section, the more extreme interpretation of the twin headlamp face and its leaner build give it a racier and more dynamic presence.

But just because this car comes with AMG equipment it doesn't mean it's a gas guzzler. The car I tried was the E250 CDI Blue Efficiency model, which meant some 52.3mpg.

Okay, it doesn't have the AMG performance but it's no slouch either, with a top speed of 155mph and a 0-62mph time of just 7.4 seconds. You could say it's a wolf in sheep's clothing, except that this is a pretty quick sheep.

The visual appearance of the white Coupe was boosted dramatically by the addition of red leather sports seats all round (pounds 1,370), complete with multi adjustable electric settings to give optimum comfort. So the interior was as stunning as the exterior.

Despite the E250 designation - suggesting 2,500cc - this coupe is powered by a four-cylinder, 2,143cc diesel engine with 204bhp mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, which has a somewhat notchy action.

This engine, however, is some 36 per cent more powerful than the four-cylinder diesel in the preceding model and consumes 17 per cent less fuel.

This latest coupe has no B pillars - the pillars set between the front and rear side windows - so in the summer you can lower all the side glass to give a completely open aspect.

The coupe comes with Mercedes-Benz's Agility Control sports suspension as standard, which means the system adjusts automatically to whatever driving situation you find yourself in, stiffening up for sport driving and adding a softer touch for long distance, open road driving.

It's also packed with eveything you can think of to protect the driver's safety, including the Attention Assist, which cleverly monitors a driver's behaviour and, if it senses you are falling asleep, warns you before it is too late.

Despite the coupe's sleek appearance there is plenty of space for rear seat passengers in the two scuptured seats, and access is easy thanks to the automatic electronic action of the front seats. There's also a sensible sized boot, some 450 litres, which can be increased by lowering the rear seatbacks, unusual on a large coupe.

The E-Class Sport Coupe is a car which seems to have everything going for it, especially if you can afford the optional extras which add that touch of glamour.

Fast Facts Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI Blue Efficiency Sport Coupe Price approx: pounds 35,505, without optional extras Mechanical: 204 bhp, 2143cc, four cylinder diesel engine driving rear wheels via 6spd manual gearbox.

Max speed: 155 mph 0-62mph: 7.4 secs Combined mpg: 52.3 Insurance group: 40E CO2 emissions: 148g/km Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited mileage

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Although it shares family traits with the saloon, the coup has its own, distinct identity
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 14, 2011
Words:686
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