Mercedes Benz surprised many by offering its new E-Class Coupe for less money than the E-Class Sedan, with which it shares its styling, interior and positioning. After all, which carmaker makes a more exclusive coupe model and then sells it for less money than the sedan variant?

If you missed our original pricing story, the E-Class Sedan starts at $49,475 for the base E350, while the similar E350 Coupe is slightly cheaper at $48,925.

It appears that Mercedes had some method to its pricing madness, however, and not purely because it wanted to hit its rivals by undercutting them in price. It turns out that while the new E-Class Coupe borrows its svelte styling from the E-Class Sedan, underneath the handsome exterior sits the smaller and cheaper C-Class platform.

This certainly explains why Mercedes can charge less for their E-Class Coupe than the Sedan, but pricing wasn't the only factor behind the decision to use the C-Class platform. Speaking with Automotive News, Mercedes U.S. chief Ernst Lieb explained that the older C-Class platform results in "a stiffer car with a bit more performance".

The news also follows earlier missives from Mercedes about the reason for dropping the previous CLK class of vehicles, which like the new E-Class Coupe were also based on the less expensive C-Class platform. The axing of the CLK was thought to be a sign that Mercedes would be using the E-Class Sedan's platform but instead the use of the C-Class platform harks back to how the company created its original CLK range of cars - essentially, the whole change was just an exercise in nameplate swapping.