The ConceptFascination uses a 2.2-litre four-cylinder Bluetec diesel with 204bhp. A production versi
11 September 2008

This is the Mercedes ConceptFascination. Described by Mercedes as a "shooting brake", the car combines the front end of the CLK replacement with the back of the E-class estate and signals a change in image for the E-class range. It will be unveiled at the Paris motor show next month.

The ConceptFascination uses a 2.2-litre four-cylinder Bluetec diesel with 204bhp. A production version of this unit will be used in the new E-class coupé. badged as a 250 CDI. It’s a four-cylinder engine that’s claimed to have the power of a 3.0-litre V6 diesel coupled with the consumption and emissions of Mercedes’ 220 CDI engine.

Mercedes said the concept is “inspired by the world of equestrianism”, so there’s lots of heavy, thick dark brown leather - meant to recall a saddle - and in the boot there’s a smoked glass table that rises out of the floor, containing a humidor and a drinks fridge.

This elegant and unusual ConceptFascination estate is unlikely to make it into production, but if you buy the successor to the CLK or the new E-class next year it’s going to look a lot like this car.

The next CLK will be incorporated into the E-class range and badged as an E-class coupé, not CLK, in a deliberate attempt to recreate the image of the near-legendary W124 E-class. “We’re going for a more traditional image,” said a company spokesperson. In the late 1980s the E-class range consisted of a saloon, an estate, a cabrio and a coupe.

To that end the new E-class won’t feature the vast range of new technology and gadgets that Mercedes issued with the current model. A Mercedes insider pointed to simplified systems such as a one-stage wind deflector for the sunroof – the current car has a choice of six positions.

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Although it will badged as an E-class, the coupe will still be based on a C-class – in this case, the current model (unlike the CLC coupe, which uses a last-generation C-class platform. And it will still be available as a coupe and a cabrio; no folding hardtop model is planned.

The new E-class will be launched at the Geneva show in March, and goes on sale in the UK during the summer. The coupe comes shortly after, while the estate and the cabrio will be launched at the Frankfurt motor show next September.

Dan Stevens

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11 September 2008

Wow, this looks stunning! Not sure about the dark, brown interior but the outside is beautiful.

One thing though, having spent a few weeks trying to find a decent W124 E class coupe, and failing, I hope it drives better than those.

11 September 2008

Looks nice, but is one of the few cars I've seen that I think would benefit from smaller alloys.

11 September 2008

wow...! When can I have one.

I fell out of love with Mercedes ever since my 2004 E Class Estate kept on going wrong. On top of that customer service was appalling. As a family we've had them since the mid 60's and a 240TD an uncle bought in 1978, is still soldiering on, on the same engine!..

If the quality and customer service is back to how it was back in the 80's and 90's then I shall be putting my name down for one of these, as long as they are sensible about the price that is!

In the meantime I shall continue to enjoy my fantastic LR Discovery HSE, it knocks the socks off any other off roader or estate car I've ever driven.

if it's heavy, it ain't happenin' 

11 September 2008

The coupes are lovely but good ones are hard to find and not cheap - I'd go for a saloon W124 - they are used less than the estates or coupes and they are incredible cars - with the Sportline suspension they also look and drive great. You probably know this but I'd advise against sourcing a classic Merc via specialists and Websites - they are a rip-off. Instead find a reputable Mercedes mechanic that doesn't actually sell the cars and ask them. I bought a W124 years ago on the advice of a friend and am now on my fourth. I have driven countless cars over the years but, in all honesty, nothing really has the same feeling of strength in depth. I'm going to try an E34 BMW next just for a change. I must say it's pleasing to see Mercedes once again playing to their strengths.

Bring back steel wheels.

11 September 2008

The only Mercedes I'd driven until recently was a 1986 260E sedan. I drove it in about 2002 and I was shocked at how powerful, comfortable and solid it was even at that age. It was like driving a ship. One word that could sum it up was HEFT! What was strange was I always swore I would never own a Mercedes as they never appealed, but the 260E was a riot to drive.

However, since then I've driven the new C220 CDi Avantgarde and was really impressed by that. I drove all over France and it never made me tired. I also loved the looks of the thing. The new C-Class looks superb with the large sports merc tri-star in the grille, rather than perched on the bonnet.

I've always hated the E-Class since it got the 4 oval lamps and hoped that Mercedes would bring the style of the new C to the E. This new one looks far more imposing and sporting, which I presume was the intention. If the production model has half of the grit of this concept, it'll be a roaring success. Lets hope they can get the proportions of the sedan right.

11 September 2008

This new Merc E class\concept looks very cool, my dad has a 2007 E280 CDI Sport and I was never a fan of mercs, they always had a old man image. But since he got the CDI sport it looks very cool in silver. If the new model looks like the concept it should look even better with 20 inch wheels :)

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