No facelifts or leftovers here: the Mercedes E-Class will be all new for 2017. And we’re pretty sure it’s from the future.
Car Magazine reports that new E-Class coupes and convertibles are under development, and are set to be larger, more aggressive, and more advanced than any previous design. A new chassis, a slew of new powertrains, and a revised, futuristic interior will help separate the oft-compared E- and C-Class coupes.
New models will be much more expressive, with shorter overhangs and a squatter, more athletic stance. These changes are underpinned by the new W213 chassis, as well as an advanced rear-wheel-drive platform called Mercedes Rear-wheel-drive Architecture (MRA). The MRA has an adaptable, lightweight structure that can mesh with a variety of wheelbase alterations, and allows the car to ride lower than before.
The biggest change, though, is what will show up under the hood.
Mercedes is scrapping the old V6 platforms and replacing them with inline six-cylinders to reduce complexity and increase compatibility. As a result, all four and six-cylinder engines, both gas and diesel, will have the same inline construction. The result is interchangeability, as all sub-V8 E-Class engines will share 60 percent of the same parts, cutting Mercedes’ production cost by a whopping 35 percent.
The new inline six displaces 3.0-liters, and will churn out anywhere from 200 to 400 horsepower, depending on the trim line. Turbos and variable valve timing will be responsible for the six’s broad range.
Topping the power range is the new 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 dubbed the M177, which will deliver 600 hp and 533 pound-feet of torque in AMG form.
But if tire smoke and powerslides aren’t your thing, Mercedes will offer three hybrid options, from a “mild” 40 hp version with a three-mile electric range, to two plug-in versions with 80 and 110 hp and up to a 30-mile electric range. Four-cylinder diesel units are all new as well, but gas-powered four-bangers are hand-me-downs from the previous generation.
Even with the new technology under the E-Class’ skin, the interior is where the real toys are. The revamped cockpit is full on James Bond, with a head-up display, a semi-autonomous driving mode, night vision, and satellite navigation with real imagery.
But wait, there’s more. You also get two full-size color monitors, automatic parking, adjustable window tint, and steering wheel-mounted track balls for the main interface.
Mercedes has covered their bases with the new E-Class. No matter if you’re a technology-crazed Tony Stark, a powerslide-hungry Stig, or a gas-saving civilian, it looks like there’s an E-Class for you.
(Images courtesy of Car Magazine)