New Merc E-Class revealed
Big news for Mercedes-Benz as its new E-Class saloon debuted at the Detroit Auto Show this week. Very much entrenched as a foundation model for the brand - and its business given the huge worldwide sales it achieves - the new E-Class, referred to by Benz aficionados as the W213 E-Class, will briefly be Mercedes-Benz's most technologically advanced saloon, as it promises to be better even than the S-Class - until that is the biggest Benz saloon gets some of the advanced technology debuting here.
If the styling is a bit same-but-bigger, Mercedes-Benz makes up for that on the technology. There's enough electronics in there to fill the halls of last week's Consumer Electronics Show, with more active features, safety and comfort kit than in any other Mercedes-Benz. The car all but drives itself. It's a step closer to autonomy then, via what Merc's dubbing 'Drive Pilot', and as close as you can legally get to a self-driving car.
The E-Class's cabin underlines its future-looking tech, dominated by two massive screens (on all but the entry level models) housing the instrumentation, entertainment and information interfaces and offering plenty of personalisation options and masses of connectivity. It's controlled via Merc's usual 'Comand' controller, rather than touchscreens. It's all very quick and easy to navigate, while touch sensitive buttons on the steering wheel and speech control also feature. New seats, significantly more interior space - thanks to a stretched wheelbase - and greater comfort thanks to new suspension should help the E-Class trump its rivals.
The entirely new E-Class gains some new powerplants, with the smaller petrol and diesel engines dominating European sales. The E 200 petrol delivers 184hp and 300Nm of torque, allowing it a 7.7-second 0-100km/h time allied to 5.9 litres/100km and 132g/km consumption and emissions figures. The E 220 d betters that, the diesel producing 195hp and 400Nm, a 7.3-second 0-100km/h time, CO2 emissions of 102g/km and 3.9 litres/100km fuel consumption. A less powerful 150hp E 200 d will be offered too.
All the four-cylinder diesel engines are the first of a new generation of powerplants from Mercedes-Benz. Shorter and more compact than before, they promise greater refinement allied to better performance and economy. All E-Class models will be equipped from launch with a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission, as well as a start-stop system that aids their efficiency around town.
The engine range will include a larger 3.0-litre turbodiesel badged E 350 d and an E 350 e plug-in hybrid using a four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor. The latter promises sub-50g/km CO2 and a combined consumption figure in the region of 2.1 litres/100km.
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