The fifth generation 2016 Mercedes E-Class will have its world premiere at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in January, says a report from Autocar. This was confirmed to the publication by Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG, parent company of Mercedes-Benz. Speaking to the publication at the 2015 LA Auto Show, he revealed that the company’s board gave the green light to the next-gen E-Class at an event in Spain last week.
Mr. Wagener said that the 2016 E-Class will have an “all-new design” which will be “much more beautiful and modern” than the outgoing model, and will be “much cleaner than even the Mercedes C-Class and Mercedes S-Class”. He also said that it will have dramatic rear-wheel drive proportions, and this has been noticed in the spy shots with the long hood, short front overhang and the glasshouse far at the back. There will also be a new ‘cat walk’ line running throughout the sides.
“All Mercedes should have a glamour factor when you pull up, and this has it,” Mr. Wagener said. The interior, he said, “moves forward two generations” and sitting again in the fourth generation model then would be “like going back to the stone age”. There are two 12-inch “glossy” display screens on the dashboard, in line with the S-Class. The rear cabin will be more spacious, like a typical chauffeur-driven car.
The 2016 Mercedes E-Class will be offered with an array of four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. New generation four-cylinder diesel engines (codename: OM654) will be offered alongside existing four-cylinder petrol engines in the entry-level models, as per the report. Higher-end models will be offered with new six-cylinder petrol engine (codename: M256) and diesel engine (codename: OM656), which are currently undergoing pilot production at the automaker’s Unterturkheim plant, near Stuttgart in Germany.
According to the report, a plug-in hybrid variant named Mercedes E 350e featuring a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor will join the fifth generation Mercedes E-Class range within a year of launch. The electric motor in this variant is said to offer a driving range of 20 miles (32 km). The familiar 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission will be standard across the range, including the plug-in hybrid variant.
The next-gen 2017 Mercedes-AMG E 63 will arrive in late 2016, featuring an upgraded version of the 4.0-litre AMG twin-turbo V8 petrol engine in two states of tune – less powerful for the entry-level AMG model, and more powerful for the range-topping ‘S’ model.
Rear-wheel drive drivetrain layout will be standard, but 4MATIC All-Wheel Drive will be available for select models. The all-new model will be a more comfortable drive, thanks to a newly developed suspension featuring variable-rate damping. The AIRMATIC air suspension will be revised for some enhancements and be standard in the higher-specced models.
The fifth-gen 2016 E-Class will likely come with semi-autonomous driving technology and boast functions such as autonomous acceleration, braking, lane changing and overtaking up to a set speed, as well as self-parking. The latter may be limited to range-topping models.