These are the first official images of the new Mercedes E-class, released accidentally on Mercedes’ official German website this morning. The pictures come more than a month before the luxury saloon is due to be unveiled to the world.
Known internally under the codename W212, the new Mercedes E-class is due to go on sale in the UK in May. We’ll see it for the first time in the metal at the Geneva motor show in March.
The new E-class, a direct rival for the BMW 5-series and Audi A6, has been designed to reduce Merc’s manufacturing costs by 25 per cent compared to its predecessor. Despite this, E-class list prices are expected to remain similar to the current model when it’s launched in the spring.
Next year’s E-class is bigger than the outgoing model. At 4950mm long it is 70mm longer, a move aimed at boosting safety as well as improving rear seat accommodation and load capacity.
There are no official figures yet, but Autocar sources say boot capacity for the saloon is 550 litres – up by 10 litres on today’s model.
Cosmetically, the new E-class draws heavily on the Mercedes Fascination concept we saw at the LA motor show. It gets the taut body surfacing treatment familiar from recent Mercedes models, along with new distinctive headlamps that ditch the rounded theme from previous generations for an edgier form with four elements. Top-end models will be marked out with LED daytime running lights.
Expect more fuel-efficient engines to power this generation E-class. There will be a revised line-up of four-cylinder petrol and all-new common-rail diesel engines.