There has long been a Mercedes-Benz executive-class coupé, but during the past 20 years, you wouldn’t necessarily have known it as a true E-Class Coupé.

There was a coupé version of E-Classes, sure, plus coupés based on the more obscure model names that Mercedes gave its executive cars in and before the 1990s.

But it was from 1997 that the car got its own identity. It was called the CLK and looked to all intents and purposes like an E-Class Coupé but actually rode on a C-Class platform. Ditto its replacement, a car actually called an E-Class Coupé even though it shared its underpinnings with its smaller sibling.

Step forward this new executive-class coupé, now both called and factually an E-Class Coupé – although, given that Mercedes from the C-Class to the S-Class share the same architecture, the links with sister models are as strong as ever.

Initially, there will be five derivatives of the E-Class Coupé: two diesels, and three petrols, of which this is one.

The diesels are the E220d (powered by a 2.0-litre making 192bhp) and the E350d (with its 255bhp 3.0-litre V6). The two lower-powered petrols are both 2.0-litre turbo units, too, making 181bhp and 242bhp.

Most variants drive the rear wheels through a nine-speed automatic gearbox apart from the E200 and E220d, which use a seven-speed unit. A six-speed manual will be added to the range later.

Our E400 test car is powered by a 328bhp 3.0-litre V6 and is the range-topper until a full-blown AMG version arrives. It drives through the nine-speed gearbox, too, but as standard to all four wheels.

It’s available only in AMG Line trim, which, perhaps obviously, calls on the glamour of the AMG name but doesn’t come with a snarling V8.

What it does come with is a list price of £50,820, which has been raised to £58,820 on our test car, but in its pre-options list price form looks keenly matched against its Audi A7 Sportback and BMW 6 Series rivals.

Top 5 Grand tourers

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda Citigo
    This is the facelifted Skoda Citigo
    First Drive
    28 June 2017
    The facelifted Citigo gets a new infotainment system, but Skoda has wisely resisted the urge to make sweeping changes
  • Volvo XC60
    Car review
    28 June 2017
    Volvo aims its reinvigorated crosshairs at the medium-sized SUV ranks
  • First Drive
    27 June 2017
    Ford says the all-new Fiesta has extra polish and more space. We drove the ST-Line X 5-door 1.0T Ecoboost to find out how it shapes up
  • Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer Design Nav 1.5 Turbo Ecotec 140 2017 review
    First Drive
    23 June 2017
    Low-rung estate model offers great value for money, albeit with little shine or excitement
  • Audi SQ5
    Car review
    23 June 2017
    New performance SUV has it all to do in a class of talented rivals. Is it up to the task?