Thanks to official interior images, and an unofficial leak of exterior shots last week, there’s not much more to learn about the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but the German luxury marque has forged ahead with its Detroit Auto Show debut all the same.
Continuing Mercedes-Benz' recent focus on technology, the E-Class debuts Drive Pilot, a semi-autonomous driver assistance system capable of maintaining a safe distance behind a lead car at speeds of up to 210km/h.
Drive Pilot can also maintain the vehicle’s position within a lane, even in the absence of lane marking, utilising surrounding vehicles and structures to position the vehicle correctly. Active Brake Assist steps in if the driver fails to respond to a collision, while Evasive Steering Assist is designed to offer precisely calculated steering adjustments during evasive maneuvers.
Mercedes-Benz will also introduce Digital Vehicle Key, linking an owner’s smartphone to the vehicle to allow the phone to take the place of a traditional key, allowing vehicle access and keyless start via near field communications (NFC) and also opening up Remote Parking Pilot, giving remote access to move the car in and out of tight parking spaces.
At launch the E-class will offer just two four-cylinder powertrains, starting with the 135kW/300Nm petrol E200 and 143kW/400Nm diesel E220 d offering an all-new 2.0 litre diesel engine.
Further models announced at launch include the 190kW/620Nm E350 d diesel V6 and as well as the E350 e plug-in hybrid which pairs a 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined 205kW/600Nm with fuel consumption as low as 2.1 l/100km.
additional engine variants will be added down the track with a 180kW E300 four-cylinder and a 245kW E400 six-cylinder although Mercedes hasn’t yet said if that car will feature the current V6 or make the move to a new straight-six layout, while a pair of twin-turbo V8 Mercede-AMG models is set to crown the range down the track.
Based on Mercedes-Benz’ modular MRA architecture that sits beneath both the C-Class and S-Class, the new E-Class features a 2939mm wheelbase, lengthened by 65mm over its predecessor to allow extra sprawling space in the interior.
The interior also offers optional dual 12.3-inch displays situated side-by-side in a floating housing, offering three display modes for the instrument cluster: Classic, Sport, and Progressive.
Steering wheel controls make the move to touch-sensitivity offering horizontal and vertical swipe control allowing infotainment control without the driver needing to take their hands off the wheel.
Just like the exterior, the interior design follows the format set by the S-Class range, with an emphasis on material quality with the use of leather on the dash and door tops, as well as open-pore wood throughout the interior.
Adjustable LED lighting allows for 64 different colour combinations giving a customisable glow from beneath the instrument cluster, door handles, centre console, door pockets, footwells, overhead console, and the tweeters of the optional Burmester audio system.
Further details on the Australian E-Class range are expected to emerge closer to the car’s local launch later this year.
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