The forthcoming Mercedes-Benz E-Class is probably the automotive industry’s worst-kept secret and now, the biggest image leak to date provides us a proper look at the new executive sedan.
At first glance, the similarities between the new E-Class and the current C- and even S-Class are uncanny. Given the executive sedan’s traditionally conservative clientele, it’s not a surprise that the newcomer’s exterior styling treatment does not represent a radical departure from those of contemporary Mercedes-Benz products, which are rather smart-looking anyway.
However, the interior showcases some of the latest and best technology in the Mercedes-Benz arsenal and we won’t be surprised to see some of the S-Class’ gadgetry fitted here. The steering wheel features touch-sensitive control buttons, which is a first, and respond to horizontal and vertical swiping movements.
Other impressive features include Air Body Control multi-chamber air suspension which automatically controls the ride height to suit driving conditions. Using the Dynamic Select switch, the driver can also choose between four suspension settings including Comfort, ECO, Sport and Sport+.
An Individual option also allows the driver to configure the vehicle according to personal preferences. The new E-Class also features, Remote Parking Pilot, Distance Pilot Distronic, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist.
In terms of dimensions, the E-Class is fractionally longer than the current C-Class (4,92 m versus 4, 68 m). Of interest is that the sedan’s drag coefficient is claimed to be 0.23, which will undoubtedly aid fuel efficiency. Numerous engines will power the new E-Class including a new four-cylinder turbodiesel engine offering 143 kW / 400 Nm of torque in the E 220 d. This motor has frugality in its sights with a claimed consumption figure of just 3.9L/100 km, which is outstanding. The E-class will also be initially offered with a four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine with 137 kW and 300 Nm of torque. A range of 4-cylinder petrol engines will join the range with power outputs ranging between 135 kW and 180 kW.
A six-cylinder petrol engine with 245 kW will also be on offer. A 6-cylinder diesel engine will power the E 350 d with 190 kW and 620 Nm of torque. The E 400 4MATIC will join the range later and will top the diesel offering with 245 kW and 480 Nm of torque on offer. A 110 kW 4-cylinder diesel engine will join the range at a later stage. All engines feature ECO Start/Stop functionality and all models will be fitted with a 9-speed automatic transmission at launch. Expect a range-topping AMG model no doubt featuring a big turbocharged V8 in 2017.
The E 350 e Plug-in Hybrid model will be powered by a 4-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor with a total output of 205 kW and 600 Nm of torque. The E 350 e Plug-in Hybrid can achieve about 30 km of pure electric and emission-free driving.