Wheel base of the new CLK is likely to be shorter than that of the four-door
C-class. This point to another issue. Auto makers' engineers have designed
chassis architectures which are technically highly flexible. So one basis
can not only be stretched or shortened in width and length.
Also several wheel diameters are possible, to put heavier bodies and
engines on it. This way a middle-class sedan, an SUV, a crossover or a
luxury car can be realized on the same platform. Many models today are
finally just a mix of existing modules and components, rather than they
are a derivation of one specific base model.
The Volkswagen group is probably the leading firm in this discipline. While
the Scirocco and the Eos are technically rela-
ted, both are a mix of
the Golf and the Passat model. They've even got, for example, a
modular platform which is intended to be used by Audi for the A4,
the A6, but also the new top-of-the-range model, the A8
Only a high compatibility of components make such universal
applications possible. Advantage is that expenses decline - the higher
the number of produced units, the lower their costs. Daimler are also
dealing with this approach.
That it's harder to say what model is basing on which one - and whether
the E Coupe is basing on the E- or the C-class - is just a side effect
of it. In case of a Mercedes coupe the question anyway is whether it
sets new benchmarks, and not what's used for it.
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