The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the maker’s most significant model, the anchor in a rapidly expanding line-up. But it’s also the oldest model, something the German maker is soon set to remedy with the debut of an all-new version at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.
Mercedes has been banging the drum, aiming to build interest in the premiere of the new sedan, which will take place Sunday night, the day before the first official press day at the NAIAS. It has already released interior shots and now, it seems, the helpful folks at German website Auto-Presse have given us a look at the exterior, as well.
They’ve published leaked images of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and we’re reprinting a few of the here, along with some of the key details we’ve learned about the new midsize sedan.
The new E-Class may not look like a radical redesign, but it gets a pretty complete makeover, top-to-bottom, inside and out, starting with a new platform shared with the bigger S-Class. That means the midsize model will be both larger and lighter than the outgoing Mercedes E-Class, by as much as 20 pounds, depending on options and features.
(Mercedes shows it’s what’s inside that counts with new E-Class. For more, Click Here.)
Visually, the new sedan retains the basic shape of the outgoing E-Class, but there are some key details that will signal it’s the 2017 model, including new multi-beam LED headlights, and a major re-do of the grille to pick up on the design cues of recent models like the Mercedes S- and C-Class lines. The overall look is a bit more coupe-like, again in line with what we’ve seen done with other recent sedans. And there’s now a subtle rear spoiler popping off the deck lid.
Our correspondent, Michael Strong, gave us a good look at the interior a few weeks back, noting the 2017 E-Class redesign yields an interior with a surprisingly simple design, but one with lots more technology – and fewer buttons needed to operate it all.
The maker stuffs the new iteration of the E-Class with a suite of new technology that includes car-to-car communications, the ability to unlock your car using your smartphone and remote parking.
Much of this is accessible using a new, optional, digital dashboard display that puts most functions under the driver’s control via touchpads on the steering wheel.
(Click Here for details about the hottest new car launches of 2016.)
“With the interior of the new E-Class, we are giving a new interpretation to the concept of contemporary luxury,” says Hartmut Sinkwitz, head of Interior Design. “We have designed a spacious and intelligent interior. True to Mercedes-Benz’s design philosophy of sensual purity, it employs technological innovation and high-grade equipment to create an exceptionally emotive experience for driver and front passenger.
Incidentally, the E-Class is the first Mercedes to get dual thumb controls on the steering wheel. They essentially act as smaller version of the center touchpad console and instrument cluster.
As with other recent Mercedes models, the new E-Class gets lots of new safety features, including the new Evasive Steering Assist. A pedestrian jumps in front of you or a car comes out of a blind intersection? The sedan will boost its steering assist to help you swerve safely around the obstacle.
There’s also new, semi-autonomous technology. Unfortunately for those who want hands-free driving, you’ll only be able to take your mitts off the steering wheel briefly before the car starts beeping to force you to take manual control again. A true hands-off update, akin to the new Tesla AutoPilot, may yet follow during the lifecycle of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Expect, meanwhile, a number of new powertrain options, with a plug-in hybrid version to be included among the 10 PHEV models Mercedes intends to bring to market by 2017.
(To see more about BMW showing of next-gen gesture controls at CES, Click Here.)
A bit less green, there’s talk the top-line Mercedes-AMG E63 model will now make as much as 600 horsepower out of the new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8.