New Mercedes-Benz E-Class set for Summer arrival

Mercedes-Benz has given us a first look at the new sixth-generation E-Class saloon, which comes with new-look exterior styling, a longer wheelbase, an on-board tech upgrade, and a new engine line-up that only includes mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.

This new model launch comes as Mercedes-Benz tries to keep its combustion-powered range up to date with the technology and design ethos rolled out across its newer all-electric EQ range. At first glance, it is clear to see that Mercedes-Benz has taken inspiration from the larger S-Class when designing the new E-Class.

Slim headlights flank a large grille with distinct horizontal bars that stretch across the car’s front fascia. This grille can be illuminated for an additional fee. In the rear, the new E-Class also has longer tail lights than its predecessor, which display a new three-pointed star light signature. Alloy wheel sizes range from 17- to 21-inches.

What might not be immediately apparent is that the E-Class has slightly grown in size – the manufacturer says that the latest iteration of the saloon is two centimetres longer from front wheel to back wheel than the previous model, meaning that the new saloon’s interior will be slightly more spacious.

Despite the longer chassis, Mercedes-Benz claims that the new saloon has a tighter 12-metre turning circle than the outgoing model. Opting for the optional ‘Technology’ package adds rear-wheel steering which reduces the turning circle to 11 metres.

This chassis modification has not added any extra boot space though. Mercedes-Benz still quotes that the E-Class can hold up to 540 litres of boot luggage. This drops to 370 litres if you opt for the plug-in hybrid version.

Inside, the most notable addition is actually an optional extra – the E-Class ‘Superscreen’ dashboard. This is essentially a smaller version of the ‘Hyperscreen’ currently available in the more expensive S-Class and electric EQS model lines, combining a digital instrument cluster, a central infotainment console and a passenger side multimedia display into one continuous screen.

Running the brand’s latest ‘MBUX’ software, Mercedes-Benz adds that the central infotainment screen will be compatible with several third party apps (as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) at launch, including TikTok, Zoom video calls, and even the Angry Birds game. A selfie camera is also located on the top of the dashboard.

The options list also includes ambient cabin lighting with a ‘sound visualisation’ – a lighting system that responds to the media you are playing – and an automatic climate control feature that automatically regulates temperature, air flow and air distribution for the front and back of the cabin separately.

Mercedes-Benz adds that it has plans to add a driverless parking feature in the near future, pending government approval of such technology, which has been designed specifically with automated valet parking scenarios in mind.

Moving on from on-board tech to engine tech, the new E-Class saloon will only be available with a mild-hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrain. All models will be fitted with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Those looking for an all-electric model should check out its battery-powered counterpart, the Mercedes-Benz EQE.

Two mild-hybrids will be available at launch – the petrol ‘E 200’ and diesel ‘E 220 d’. Both primarily rely on traditional combustion-powered engines, but with a small electrified boost that improves the engine’s fuel economy. While the petrol variant is only available with rear-wheel drive, the diesel version can be specced with all-wheel drive for a higher price tag.

Plug-in hybrid models will consist of the petrol ‘E 300 e’ and ‘E 400 e’ at launch, and a diesel ‘E 300 de’ will reportedly arrive at a later date. These plug-in hybrids can reportedly travel up to 73 miles on just electric power, thanks to its 25kWh battery and electric motor pairing. The ‘E 300 e’ will be available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, while the more powerful ‘E 400 e’ will only be available with all-wheel drive.

That sums up what we know about the next-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class so far. UK specifications and pricing are currently unknown – these details are sure to follow in the coming months.

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