Ahead of the UK debut of the new E-Class, overall vehicle designer Drummond Jacoy says the new model is a leap forward for the brand
Darren Moss
3 February 2016

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class made its global debut at the Detroit motor show last month, and is already on sale in the UK with prices starting from £35,935.

Ahead of the first cars being delivered this summer, we spoke to overall vehicle designer, Drummond Jacoy, to see what the new model means for Mercedes-Benz in Europe.

Q&A with Drummond Jacoy, responsible for overall vehicle design, Mercedes-Benz E-Class

How much of a leap forward is the new E-Class?

Read our review on the previous generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon

It’s a quantum leap for us, and there are a few dimensions to that. Firstly, the proportions of the vehicle are astonishing for us, and the efficiency of it, too. The other big step is its intelligence - the kit we’ve got in there, from the human-machine interface to the driver assistance systems. Having all of that in one vehicle is the big step.

What about the design?

We want you to recognise the E-Class as belonging to our family of Mercedes-Benz models. We’ve stretched the wheelbase, shortened the overhangs and given it an enormous coupé-like silhouette, and in doing that we’ve also kept the space inside.

Mercedes-Benz design boss Gordon Wagener has said this latest E-Class is like leaping forward two generations - is that still accurate?

When we were on the signing off drive in November, we were driving the car in convoy, and we were with Gordon Wagener. This was the first time any of us had seen the car on the road. He was so stunned by the dimensions of it, he was taking pictures and calling the designers about it. He was over the moon. That’s the feeling that we have about this new E-Class.

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The E-class more than lives up to traditional Mercedes values

The E-Class is a refined and relaxing return to old Mercedes qualities

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What size of E-Class family can we expect?

We’re not going to change our product strategy completely - the Estate will follow towards the end of this year, and we have a few other things planned too.

What part does hybrid play in the product range?

It’s definitely important, and it’s the way things are going. For us in this area, you have to have something like the E350e with the electrical driving range. People will use this as a business car, and for that, we need to project this image of being aware of the ecological issues.

Is there a danger of ‘Russian doll’ design among German car makers?

We discussed that internally a lot at board level. We decided to go down this route because we want people to recognise our family. We think that within that family each car has its own individual aspects. We think there is a lot of differentiation in there.

Read more about the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class

We get behind the wheel of the Merecedes-Benz E-Class 220 d, 350 d and 350 e, see what our initial thoughts are

Join the debate


3 February 2016
Outside is YUCK--inside ok

3 February 2016
I think the words 'astonishing' and 'leap forwards' must mean different things in Sindelfingen to what they mean here.

3 February 2016
C-, E- and S-Class lineup since they started using the alphabet.

3 February 2016
he was going to say that it looked like a dog turd. All these interviews with the designers sound like they spend all their time with a thesaurus under their pillows. Can you imagine what they must be like personally?

3 February 2016
Are those curvy-rhomboidal, scoopy-nostril things underneath cars' headlights EVER going to go out of fashion?

The Gallardo of 2003 is the first time I remember seeing them and scarcely a car since has done without.

Come on, car designers: enough is enough!

3 February 2016
New E Class and old S Type. Are they related? This is the question you should have asked!

3 February 2016
I agree that this interview has all the qualities of polishing the turd!
Yes, the interior design has improved however the exterior is poor.
Perhaps the Russian Doll design philosopy is the simpletons solution to an ever expanding product range and poor brand differentiation.

3 February 2016
Reading the comments and reactions to the questions put to Drummond Jacoy I feel rather dismayed. What a load of spin, hot air and reality avoidance. Yes it will have loads of wonderful goodies inside, yes it has vastly better technology and yes it will be a good car BUT first you have to attract people to get into it to find out! The C Klasse is a nice car and not offensive nor adventurous and does relect the ideas used on the S Klasse to enthuse those who cannot afford the range topper but get a C Klasse with the job. To make your "new" mid range E Klasse near enough identical to look at is very weak. Why would I want one if it looks like the lower model? Why don't I save money and buy the smaller one? Mercedes design is like all current German design...just about dead! The "new" Audi A4 is a case in point...it is so identical to all the old A4 versions that it is just ridiculous!

These days I am struggling to find a car that makes me WANT it...after decades of cars I have dreamt of, now we have piles of identikit designs that are as exciting as buying a new fridge! I see little but tired and boring efforts from our so called "designers"....where has inspiration gone?

3 February 2016
I don't get how the new E-Class is like leaping forward two generations, when it looks so similar to the smaller model released nearly two years ago.

3 February 2016
I've only just noticed those scoopy nostril things under the headlights. They're all I can see now. Anyway, it's an E Class Mercedes. It's conservative because that's what E Class Mercedes are. Just like Audi TTs are Audi TT shaped and 911s are, erm, 911 shaped. It will swish whoever buys it around in some comfort and will be safe and quite economical. It will achieve its design brief. That's about it really. Check pulse - no quicker. Move on.


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