The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class will go on sale this summer, with prices starting at £35,935.
The model made its debut at the Detroit motor show earlier this year, and you can see exclusive pictures of the new car in the gallery above, or watch the video below to learn more.
The new, fifth-generation E-Class has been thoroughly redesigned, taking on a far more dynamic form than its predecessor in a bid to appeal to younger buyers.
It has a clear resemblance to the smaller C-Class and larger S-Class in its exterior design, featuring a swooping roofline and heavily structured surfacing treatment. The visual similarities are part of a broader plan aimed at providing Mercedes’ saloon line-up with a more cohesive appearance than before.
The new model has grown by 43mm in overall length to 4923mm. The wheelbase also extends by 65mm in standard form to 2939mm, resulting in shorter overhangs. This E-Class is also 2mm narrower and 6mm lower than the car it replaces.
As with other recent new Mercedes, the new E-Class sets a record for aerodynamic efficiency in its class with a drag coefficient of 0.23.
Key among the engineering developments is a new platform structure with higher percentages of hot-formed high-strength steel and aluminium. Similar to the structures used by the C-Class and S-Class, it is claimed to bring weight savings of up to 100kg on a model-for-model basis. The front wings, bonnet and bootlid are all made of sheet or cast aluminium.
Engine and transmission
The new E-Class will eventually come with the choice of up to eight engines, although only two units are available at launch. These are the 254bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel in the E350d and an all-new 2.0-litre diesel with 192bhp and 295lb ft in the E220d.
The latter engine, codenamed OM654 and set to be introduced to other Mercedes-Benz models this year, replaces the reliability-plagued OM651. In the E220d, the new unit is said to provide combined fuel consumption of 72.4mpg and average CO2 emissions of just 102g/km.
Further petrol engines to follow include a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with 181bhp and 221lb ft in the E200, a more powerful version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit with 242bhp in the E250, a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 with 328bhp in the E400 4Matic and, towards the end of this year, AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 with up to 580bhp in a successor to the E63 AMG.
The diesel line-up will expand to include a base E200d running a detuned version of the new 2.0-litre engine with 148bhp.
Catering to increased demand for zero-emissions capability, Mercedes will introduce a plug-in hybrid model with a claimed electric range of up to 19 miles. Due shortly after the start of E-Class sales in the UK, it uses a developed version of the C350e’s driveline, with a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor within the gearbox. That provides the E350e with outputs of 275bhp and 442lb ft and combined economy of 135mpg, with CO2 emissions of 49g/km.
All launch models will come with Mercedes’ 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard. Alongside standard rear-wheel drive, selected models will offer 4Matic four-wheel drive as an option, but final details are yet to be revealed, as are details of which models will be available with a manual gearbox.
The E-Class is underpinned by an evolution of Mercedes’ modular rear architecture (MRA) platform. A choice of three suspension tunes with variable damping control is planned from the outset: Comfort, Comfort Avantgarde (with a 15mm reduction in ride height) and Sport, which also features a 15mm ride height reduction.
Buyers will be able to option selected E-Class models with new air suspension. The Air Body Control set-up uses Mercedes’ latest multi-chamber air springs, with two chambers for each of the front wheels and three chambers on each of the rear wheels, providing variable stiffness, damping, ride height and self-levelling properties in four modes: Comfort, Eco, Sport and Sport Plus.
Inside, the E-Class receives a thoroughly redesigned cabin. Both roomier and reflecting a higher quality than that of the current E-Class, the new interior combines design cues from both the smaller C-Class and larger S-Class. The highlight is a wide, glass-faced digital panel consisting of two 12.3in monitors.
A further innovation is the adoption of laser-guided touchpads on each of the steering wheel’s horizontal spokes. In combination with a touchpad located between the front seats, plus a rotary dial and speech recognition system, they allow the driver to control the new Comand infotainment system via a simple swipe of the thumb.
The centre console can be ordered with a wireless charging mat for phones and comes with a USB connector for Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto compatibility.
In a bid to improve comfort, Mercedes has developed a new range of seats for the E-Class. They vary in look depending on the equipment line chosen, providing both greater support and a wider range of cushioning than before. Buyers will be able to specify the E-Class with new trim options and colour combinations that will be revealed closer to the on-sale date.
New Mercedes E-Class Estate to rival A6 Allroad
Along with the new E-Class saloon, Mercedes-Benz is preparing a successor to the E-Class Estate, although it isn’t scheduled to be unveiled until the second half of the year.
In a departure from previous incarnations of the executive load hauler, it will be offered in two distinct variants: a traditional on-road model and a so-called All-Terrain version, which will feature raised ride height and a standard 4Matic four-wheel drive system and will provide Mercedes with a rival to the likes of the Audi A6 Allroad.