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.
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.