The next-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon has been spotted testing in Nurburgring ahead of its anticipated launch in mid-2016. Big Motoring World reviews what changes we can expect from the German manufacturer’s fifth-generation of its executive car.
The new model, borrowing design cues from the latest C-Class and S-Class, is likely to make its debut in early 2016 just before its closest competitor, BMW's next 5 Series. The new-generation model will once again grow in size, to about 4590mm long and 1940mm wide. This slight increase in size is down to the new rear-wheel-drive MRA platform, which currently underpins the new C-Class and S-Class. The new E-Class will ride on newly developed suspension that features variable-rate damping.
One of the key features of the new 2016 E-Class is the increased use of high-strength steel and aluminium, which is expected to shave between 70-150kg from the kerbweight of today’s model. The lightweight architecture should result in improved efficiency and a better driving experience, as well as allow for additional passenger space. The aerodynamics have also been refined so that the drag coefficient has improved from 0.25 to a class-leading 0.23.
The interior will be completely updated, including as 150mm-tall, 700mm-wide dashboard monitor which boasts HD graphics. Mercedes also plans to install an improved head-up display and new multi-function steering wheel controls.
Stylistically, the new E-Class follows the latest C-Class and the GLA. It is expected to adopt a slender new exterior styling. The previous version was a relatively boxy car, with deliberately angular surfaces, but Mercedes new design adopts a curvier, sleeker profile and softer details.
The onwards march towards autonomous driving will be furthered by the E-class’s stepping-stone technology. Officials hint that it will offer a function that will allow it to automatically accelerate, brake, change lanes, overtake and include a full range of self-parking functions. The art of driving is changing at a scarily exciting pace and the new E-class charges us straight into this brave new world.
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