Stuttgart's mid-sized saloon will get S- and C-class-inspired looks
5 February 2007

Barely a fortnight after Mercedes unveiled the new C-class, we've spotted the next E-class saloon beating the development trail. Due to go on sale in 2009, the new car has to rescue a reputation for quality tarnished in recent years.The new E-class' platform is being jointly developed with Chrysler in America and Germany. It will also underpin future Chryslers, such as the proposed Imperial, and some Dodges, as DaimlerChrysler attempts to rationalise its global product line-up. The bodywork is very similar to the new C-class and the S-class before it, using the same prominent wheel arches and trapezoidal headlights (see artist's impression, gallery). It will get some of the S-class’s technology too, such as Night Vision and LED lights. Mercedes is also working on a driver alert system based on eye movement similar to the one seen in the Volvo S80, and that is likely to be premiered in the E-class. However, the car will not have Mercedes’ ill-fated electronic brake control system, which did away with a mechanical link between the brake pedal and the brakes. The subject of a worldwide recall, it was ditched last year and future E-classes will have conventional brakes.Expect a cleaner and more-efficient range of diesel engines, too. Mercedes has already introduced its Bluetec technology on diesels sold in North America, and the next E-class will use further developments of the system. As Europe moves towards a 120g/km average C02 emissions limit by 2012, technology such as Bluetec (which reduces the emissions of harmful nitrogen oxide associated with diesel engines) will become even more important to manufacturers.

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