Mercedes unveiled its biggest hint yet at the look of the new E-Class with the Concept Fascination two-door estate.
The Concept Fascination is the first show car created under the management of Merc's new design boss, Gorden Wagoner, and it shows the brand is moving in a new, edgier design direction. The front end will be strongly reflected in the new E-Class and CLK when they go on sale next year, with both cars sharing similar quad rectangular headlamps.
Wagoner told Autocar that the Concept Fascination "illustrates the future face of Mercedes-Benz design,” and that we "are going to be seeing a lot of cars in coming years boasting a similar lineage."
The two-door estate bodyshell is more of a red herring. According to a Mercedes insider, there are no plans to produce anything similar - although the company is not ruling it out categorically.
Although the CLK replacement will continue to be based on the C-Class, it will take its design cues from the E-class - and recent trademark listings suggest that Mercedes is considering using 'CLE' to designate the new model. This would open the way for a whole raft of coupe models named on the same principle, from the upcoming front-wheel drive CLA through the CLC, CLE and CLS to the range-topping CL. This would effectively aligning each model with its 'sister' saloon brand.